If it's Tuesday morning, Adam Scott is at a record store. Or on his way. Or has just returned to his Hollywood Hills home, arranging his purchases among the thousands of CDs organized by group and release date. "I guess it's my hobby," Scott, 28, says of his itch to be first in line on the day of the week new music comes out. "Going out and getting stuff—is that a hobby? I think I need to start building model airplanes."

And working on his cool act. Never mind that Scott, who plays a Marine Corps lawyer in the thriller High Crimes, has for eight years earned his living onscreen—including a two-year run on Party of Five and guest spots on ER and HBO's Six Feet Under. "On the first day of rehearsal with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, I thought, 'What am I doing here?' " he says. "It was like spending four months with royalty."

That "boyish innocence" won over the Crimes cast and crew, says producer Janet Yang, who adds that at the end of the shoot, "he went around giving us gifts." Used to working his charm, Scott devoted much of his energy at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, Calif., to student theater—and explaining to his parents, Dougald, 60, a biology professor at a local junior college, and Anne, 58, a special-ed instructor at Harbor High, why he could barely keep a 2.0 GPA. "I was busy with the plays," says the youngest of the three Scott kids. "And chasing girls." A practice, Scott insists—not too believably—he has put on hold: "I'm road weary." A hint to anyone hoping to recharge him: Tuesday mornings, alternative rock section. Beat the crowds.