"Scoot" implies a fast pace or rapid advancement; for "Killing Them Softly" (2012) actor Scooter McNairy his career trajectory from no-name actor to Brad Pitt co-star couldn't have happened more slowly. The Dallas native, whose nickname (his real name is John) is a jokey reference to the way he scooted around as a baby, grew up obsessively watching movies and eventually migrated to California to attend film school for cinematography. When he landed his debut role as a disaffected teen in "Wrong Numbers" (2001), however, he realized creating something in front of the camera was just as rewarding as working behind it. The quietly intense actor quickly amassed a string of roles portraying young, rebellious, slightly on the edge characters in everything from films such as "Wonderland" (2003) and "D.E.B.S." (2004), to TV shows like "Good Girls Don't..." (BBC, 2004) and "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05). In between portraying an oddly named art student in "Art School Confidential" (2006) and appearing in the music video for Regina Spektor's "Fidelity," the ambitious McNairy also formed his own production company, The Group Films, in an effort to create the kinds of films and roles he wanted to see but no one was offering. His first outing as a producer came on "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" (2007), the surprise Independent Spirit Award-winning hit in which he played a bitter Los Angeleno who finds himself on an unexpected date on New Year's Eve. Directed by Alex Holdridge of "Wrong Numbers," the film's massive success (it grossed over $1 million on a $25,000 budget) propelled McNairy to even bigger roles. After portraying a jaded journalist in the 2010 experimental sci-fi film "Monsters," in 2012 McNairy gave a trio of performances that brought him out of the shadows and into the spotlight: none-too-bright petty thief Frankie in Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly;" defiant American hostage Joe Stafford in Ben Affleck's "Argo;" and struggling farmer Jeff Dennon in Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land." Scoot McNairy isn't a late-bloomer - it just took us awhile to catch on.