Scott Ly is a 45-year-old American actor, perhaps best known for playing Sinh Thach, the love interest of executive Amanda Riley, played by Rachael Leigh Cook, in the 2023 Netflix feature film “A Tourist’s Guide to Love”. He’s also appeared in two short movies, “Fast Money” and “Jaded Love” and two full-length movies, “1968 Tunnel Rats” and “Blood of Redemption.”
Early life and education
Truong Quoc “Scott” Ly was born on 2 April 1978 in Houston, Texas USA, as the youngest of four children. His family, refugees from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, moved to the US three years before his birth, consequently, Scott grew up in San Gabriel Valley, Southern California, and considers California his home.
Scott developed his athletic physique in high school – he was captain of the wrestling and basketball teams and subsequently trained in mixed martial arts (MMA), Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and yoga.
Scott Ly debuted in acting in 2006, by playing Pistol Pete in the short movie “Fast Money,” followed by a minor role as Xuan in “Jaded Love” in 2007. In 2008, he was cast as Huy Tran in the theatrical release “1968 Tunnel Rats,” which was only shown in one theatre in the US, and was about the Vietnam War that lasted from 1959 to 1975. Despite the limited release, its director and scriptwriter, Uwe Boll, received the Golden Raspberry Award in the Worst Director category.
Scott then took a three-year break from acting, before landing the lead role as Vikis in the action-adventure television series “Legend of Souls” in 2011. Although the series’ plot lacked complexity and a bigger budget, it got him noticed, which led to his minor role as Paul Montgomery in an episode of the well-known television criminal investigation series “Criminal Minds” in 2012. He was then cast as Lin Chau in his second theatrical film “Blood of Redemption,” released the following year.
Scott returned to television in 2014, appearing in an episode of “Bones”, another criminal investigation series. Most of his fans recall the scene when the lead detective, Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz, interrogates his character, Sung Dae Park. Seeley makes him tear up out of fear, showing Scott’s acting chops.
Consequently, he appeared in an episode of the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless” in 2015, and in 2016, returned in the spin-off series “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” as one of the officers. Following a two-year break, Scott played Danh in the “Animal Kingdom” series’ third season in 2018, then after another two-year pause from acting on the screen, Scott became the voice actor for characters in the video games “Final Fantasy VII Remake” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.”
Scott took his third two-year break afterwards, then played Adam Moore in an episode of the anime-drama series “FBI: Most Wanted.” According to his publicist, EMB Publicity, Scott didn’t rest during his acting breaks, instead appearing in commercials and national print campaigns, acted in plays, and worked as a gym manager and personal trainer. Scott also revealed that going to New York City was his childhood dream, making filming “FBI: Most Wanted” memorable.
Working with Netflix
Scott earned his big break in late 2022, when he landed the lead role of Sinh Thach in the Netflix feature-length film “A Tourist’s Guide to Love,” which premiered on 21 April 2023. His counterpart was the well-known actress Rachael Leigh Cook, who played Amanda Riley and is perhaps best known as Laney Boggs in the 1999 romantic comedy “She’s All That” alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. Moreover, she enjoyed recent success in romantic or holiday-themed movies such as “Love, Guaranteed,” “Cross Country Christmas,” “‘Tis the Season to be Merry,” and “A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas.” Therefore, the excitement for the Netflix release was high.
Rachael played an executive who suffered a sudden break-up, and agreed to be relocated to Vietnam to heal her soul and investigate the tourist industry. Unsurprisingly, she gradually falls head over heels for her hunky and charming tourist guide, Sinh, who takes her sightseeing to Quan Nam, Da Nang, and Hanoi, making her never want to leave. Scott told “Good Morning America” TV show hosts, that his family initially didn’t believe he landed the role in such a significant production, but were excited and proud.
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He was ecstatic that he could showcase his culture, particularly the Lunar New Year celebration, Tết (Tết Nguyên Đán). Many Vietnamese traditions were also features; for example, the process of creating flower-shaped lanterns, known as hoa dang, which Vietnamese people send down a river with prayers or wishes written on them, according to Google Arts & Culture. Scott also shared with FOX 13 Seattle newscaster that his first impression of Rachael was ‘everything people think an ideal Hollywood star would be,’ and that he accepted her mentorship to the point of calling her ‘the wave’, because he felt like a surfer who gave in and rode the wave, according to his Timid Magazine interview. Rachael thought that he was ‘really confident, yet genuine and full of energy’ when she first saw him. He also told Timid Magazine that his favorite filming location was the golden city of Hội An, and that he would like to visit Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
Scott told Men’s Health magazine that he lost about 50lbs or roughly 23kgs in four months to play Sinh, admitting that he was in bad shape, mentally and physically, because he’d lost his third daughter to miscarriage shortly before he learned that Netflix picked him. However, Scott said that the traumatic event also gave him the necessary strength to accelerate the process of bouncing back. According to him, he went from 220lbs or about 100kgs to 170lbs or approximately 76kgs, his weight in the film. Scott said that he worked out in the morning for about two hours on an empty stomach; he would drink a sugar-free latte or black coffee, and stretch to get his blood flowing and muscles ready for the workout.
He initially did one body part a day, but switched to working out muscle groups, and performing compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts towards the day the filming began. Scott also did about 10 minutes of cardio and abdominal exercises at the end of every workout, a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). On his rest days, Scott did cardio on the treadmill with an incline for about half an hour, enjoyed daily ice baths and yoga, which helped his body recover.
Scott admitted to being so obsessed with his training and diet regimen that he didn’t have a cheat meal, a food item outside of his meal plan, to curb his cravings. Instead, he rewarded himself with a can of tuna after workouts. An exception was the day Scott filmed a shirtless scene; he was hungry and dehydrated, so he indulged in something that he craved. He added that he hired a personal trainer to keep him on track. During filming, Scott learned that Rachael’s fitness goal was to do a pull-up, according to his Netflix Tudum interview, so he guided her.
Scott plans to stay in shape to ‘unleash hell on any project that he lands.’ However, he made his diet less restrictive after he filmed the Netflix movie and exchanged extra cardio workouts for additional weight training. Scott also shared with Netflix Tudum that he always felt like a leading man because of his parents’ sacrifices to bring him to the US. Consequently, Scott told Men’s Health magazine that he wanted to appear in a superhero movie or TV series.
That didn’t happen after the Netflix film; he was cast as Hefty Gunner Dao in the television mini-series “The Sympathizer”, with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. The mini-series, scheduled to premiere in 2024, is based on the eponymous 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Scott revealed to Timid Magazine that he was filming the series in Thailand, but that the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike prevented the cast from working for a period.
Moreover, in August 2023, he told followers of his Instagram account, scottly.ig, that he had several personal projects in development. Scott announced one in October, his YouTube podcast entitled Truon Talks, in which he talked to various people to learn about their experiences.
Scott also accepted several interviews and spoke at the La Quinta High School in Westminster to share his story and motivate others to live their lives to the fullest.
Moreover, he revealed that he was passionate about going to the gun range in his free time.
Finally, he revealed that he and his best friend of about 20 years, GK, had written a script for a project scheduled for production in 2026.
Scott Ly is married and has two daughters. They were expecting their third daughter in 2022, but his (unnamed) wife had a miscarriage, which affected their physical and mental health negatively and caused Scott to gain weight.
Scott Ly has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall [Rachael is 5ft 2ins tall], and weighs about 175lbs (79kgs) with an athletic physique.
Scott Ly has a net worth of over $100,000. He likely received over $50,000 from Netflix for his first significant role. However, considering California’s living costs and high taxes, Scott couldn’t keep most of the payout. He also paid fees to his representatives, Endorse Management Group and Buchwald Talent Agency. Therefore, most of Scott’s income comes from his job as a gym manager in California, a position that pays up to $67,000 yearly in the state, according to Salary.com.