It was quite the scandalous Sunday at Dolby Theater last weekend as the cast of Scandal celebrated 100 episodes with some of their biggest fans at Paleyfest.
Hypable interviewed the cast on the red carpet before the event and got the chance to sit in on the Paleyfest panel in celebration of the Scandal family. Here’s what the cast had to say:
On what we can expect from the 100th episode
The 100th episode of Scandal coming up on April 13 promises to be a real doozie for long-time fans, and though Katie Lowes wasn’t allowed to tease anything about what happens in the episode, she did tell the audience that, “The 100th episode is some real bucket list stuff for me.”
Titled “The Decision,” the 100th episode of Scandal is a What-If alternate-reality episode that explores what life would have been like for these characters if different choices had been made. The cast told the audience that the episode itself is both fantasy fulfillment and dread fulfillment for fans, a respite in the middle of a dark and heavy season that offers callbacks for Gladiators who have been on the inside track since the beginning.
On how David Rosen has evolved since the pilot
As the resident jokester on the Scandal set, Joshua Malina kept the cast smiling on stage with witty one-liners. “I forgot how good I was in the pilot!” he said as soon as he got on stage after the audience screening, to which Kerry Washington quickly replied, “What happened?”
On the red carpet we actually got the chance to talk to Josh Malina himself about his character’s evolution from goody-two-shoes white hat to willing accomplice, and what playing that role has been like within the show’s own evolution.
Malina said, “The whole show’s evolution has been interesting to me because I remember early on shooting the pilot, and once we got to the second episode I realized, ‘Oh! It’s not a procedural, it’s a thriller,’ and after the third one I thought, ‘Oh, it’s not a thriller, it’s a political intrigue show,’ and every episode I learned a little bit more about what this show was, and I think that it’s been similar in terms of my character. David started out the straightest of straight arrows, the self-proclaimed wearer of the white hat, and I think like all of the other characters, we’ve learned that he’s all too human and susceptible to corruption. He’s extorted his way to a position of power. It’s kind of an ends justify the means argument. So he’s still trying to do the right thing, but I think he writers have created really interesting moral dilemmas for me to play.”
On Mellie finally being within arms reach of the presidency
“It hurts, I can taste it!” Bethany Young joked about Mellie being so close to finally attaining her dreams of the Oval Office. As an actress, Young told the audience that she’s “never been burdened with self-confidence,” especially considering that she was a late addition to the show, so for her, one of the most empowering moments on set was when she got to finally scream at Fitz, “Get over her!”
But after suffering so much heartbreak and putting her country over her relationships, will Mellie finally get the chance to find some love with Marcus this season? Cornelius Smith Jr. seems to be rooting for them at least. “I’m always in favor of a happy ending,” he said, “And I believe in love.”
On where Cyrus will go after this season
Speaking of people who prioritize power over the people in their relationships, Jeff Perry revealed on the panel that for a hot second in the show’s run, he believed “Cyrus might be the moral center” of the show. Obviously, that didn’t last long, as Cyrus Beene has been one of the most morally gray characters throughout Scandal’s history. The question now, Jeff Perry believes, is whether after suffering such horrors this season, will Cyrus choose to learn something, or simply double down and become even more vengeful after this experience?
On whether we should be worried about Huck
As for characters we’re most concerned about this season, Huck is at the top of the list after getting shot by his crazy fake-girlfriend. Should we be worried for our tortured gladiator? “Possibly, you should be a little worried, yeah, for sure,” Guillermo Diaz told us with a grin. “He’s losing a lot of blood there on the floor. Yeah, I feel like we should be worried.”
Diaz went on to tell Hypable about the process that the actors go through before preparing for each Scandal episode. “Honestly, we don’t get that much time to prepare for episodes. Sometimes we start shooting the next day! But I love that because you don’t have time to get in your own head about what you’re going to do or how you’re going to do it, you just sort of get thrown into it and start reacting.”
On why Charlie has made it this far
In a twist, OPA’s newest gladiator is also a character who has been around since the beginning: the elusive Charlie. Hypable asked George Newbern what it has been like to watch his character evolve from guest star to series regular, and why Charlie has remained so malleable throughout the show’s run.
Newbern said, “I think Charlie’s evolution has been sort of a slow one because the story is so twisty-turny that they never knew where the guy was gonna be. I think the writers almost killed me four or five times! So I think that the character is still viable just because I think he helps with a lot of the plot. I think he can do anything and he’s worked for almost everybody on this show. And now he’s romantically involved, so the evolution has been a slow one, but I think it’s made a lot of sense.”
On Papa Pope as prey, and how he is making sure his species survives
Lest we forget, Rowan Pope is both the hell and the high water, but this season we’ve seen him get visibly cornered for perhaps the first time in the series’ run. Still, as we know, Papa Pope is some very smart prey, and Joe Morton told the Paleyfest audience about his character, saying, “If he finds himself trapped, he’s always looking for an escape.”
“His principle is that love is a weakness,” Morton went on to say, and when it comes to weaknesses for Rowan, it’s likely that his only one is Olivia — the “species” he’s fighting tooth and nail this season to make sure survives. Hypable asked Morton then, as a father, what makes Rowan most proud about the daughter he’s raised, and what disappoints him most about Olivia?
Mortan answered as Rowan, saying, “I’m most proud of the fact that she’s independent and strong, clear-sighted, and willing to take a risk to get done what she needs to get done. She’s a warrior. I’m disappointed when she doesn’t believe me.”
On filming with Olivia’s two favorite guys
Olivia’s love life has been a ship war for the ages, and while this season has definitely put the romance on the back-burner, it’s still fun to fantasize about all of the what-ifs and once-weres.
So when it comes to Fitz and Jake, what have been Tony Goldwyn and Scott Foley’s most memorable moments on set? On the panel, Goldwyn talked about how he and Kerry were shooting a scene with the Constitution on the night that President Barack Obama got elected to his second term, and how special that moment felt.
When it came to Scott Foley, the cast teased him to not to get too emotional with his memory. “He’s a crybaby, you guys,” Kerry Washington told the audience with a wink. But Foley’s memory was a happy one, “Shooting at the Bahamas!” he said. Washington helped him relay the story of how since the studio didn’t want Olivia and Jake’s trip spoiled, they got to fly to the islands on Disney’s private plane. “Everyone was jealous of us.”
On what makes the ‘Scandal’ cast and crew feel like a family
The #ScandalFamily is legit according to Katie Lowes. From Sunday watch parties at Jeff Perry’s house to gathering together to watch Kerry present at the Oscars, everyone is so proud to be a part of this family that they’ve created together.
Tony Goldwyn credits Kerry Washington with creating that welcoming atmosphere, calling her the greatest team captain a show could ever have. Her humility and enthusiasm is what makes the cast and crew of the show feel like a family.