Jack Falahee Dishes On The Art Of Drinking Scotch + What He Loves About Working With “Murder” Boss Shonda Rhimes

Photo Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

With a last name like Falahee, “How To Get Away With Murder” star Jack Falahee is no stranger to pronunciation errors, which is one of the reasons he joined forces with a similarly mispronounced brand: Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The actor, who turns 30 next week, stars in the Diageo brand’s latest campaign (aptly entitled “It’s Pronounced OH-Bin”), which includes two 30 second videos, created and produced by Mob Scene, as a guy who tells it like it is and does not mess around… when it comes to pronunciations, his love of Scotch… or anything else, for that matter.

“My last name seems to really stump people – I always get that unsure glance but it’s not that difficult to say. When I learned about the ‘It’s Pronounced OH-Bin’ campaign, I laughed because I so easily relate to the concept. Plus, I’ve always had an appreciation for quality scotch and Oban is my whisky of choice. I’m excited to join forces with Oban and help more people learn about this amazing (and easy to say!) single malt,” he says.

We chatted with Falahee, who plays Connor Walsh on ABC’s legal drama “How To Get Away With Murder,” about those pesky mispronunciations, the art of drinking Scotch, working with one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland (it only has two tiny stills and is operated by seven employees), and what he’s learned from working with “Murder” boss Shonda Rhimes.Photo Credit: Oban Single Malt

How did your partnership with Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky come about? Did they approach you because you have a hard-to-pronounce name or did they feel your character on HTGAWM gelled with their brand?

I’ve been a fan of Oban for many years, so it made perfect sense when the brand approached me with the campaign idea. I couldn’t say no since, like Oban, people have always struggled to pronounce my last name. I understand the frustrations and love the sarcasm and humor in the videos. At the end of the day, what we’re really trying to do is get people to enjoy this incredibly good, craft Scotch whisky.”

In your opinion, when is the best occasion to drink Scotch? How do you enjoy it?

I personally love to drink Scotch around the holidays. My Grandfather is the reason I started drinking Scotch, so I’ve come to really love its character. Oban 14 Year Old and Oban 18 Year Old are my absolute favorites. They each have such particular flavors, so I like to drink them both neat to fully appreciate the taste, but I’d never say no to a single malt cocktail!
Photo Credit: Oban Single Malt

What is a secret to drinking Scotch that you’ve learned through working with Oban?

The best part about Scotch is that it really does have versatility – which a lot of people might not realize. You can enjoy it neat at home alone, or in a cocktail with friends – there is no one way to drink it. That’s why I’m so excited for this campaign, to help more spirits drinkers enjoy what Oban has to offer.

If you could drink a glass of Oban with anyone, who would it be and why?

Hands down Hemingway. I’d love to have a glass while he reads “A Farewell To Arms” aloud to me.

If you could drink Oban anywhere in the world, at any hotel or any locale, any restaurant, where would it be and why?

I love going on long solo backpacking trips. Scotland has been on my list for a long time. I’m dying to draft an itinerary where I hike around Scotland and end at the Oban distillery. That’s a dream.

Photo Credit: Oban Single Malt

Tell us about your first experience drinking Scotch.

The first time I had scotch was with my grandpa. When I was of age he poured me my first glass and we sat in silence as we enjoyed a fine scotch. It was a fine experience and I hold it dear.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from working with Shonda Rhimes on HTGAWM?

The greatest takeaway from working with Shonda has been that hard work pays off. Shonda is talented and driven but from what I’ve learned is that above all else she is driven. When she wants to do something she gets it done. I admire and respect that, and hope to emulate that.

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