Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
PaleyFest 2015 is in full swing in Los Angeles, and last night, the cast of the hit ABC drama Scandal stopped by to discuss everyone’s favorite creator (Shonda Rhimes), the casting process, and some of their favorite moments from the past four years. Emertainment Monthly has rounded up the top discussion points of the star-studded panel.
This year, the entire cast of Scandal was onstage to deliver some insight into recent episodes, their love for each other, and their devoted and screaming fans called Gladiators. This year’s panel was monitored by a devout Gladiator himself, Jimmy Kimmel. The panel featured Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Scott Foley, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Katie Lowes, Darby Stanchfield, Joshua Malina and Guillermo Diaz. One of the best things about PaleyFest is the fans’ ability to see all the cast members on one stage. Scandal fans got a firsthand look and listen on how close this cast is and how they interact with each other. They even dished on some of the events that transpire backstage, which include Josh Malina pulling numerous pranks. They may play scary politicians, professional fixers, and ex- B-613 agents, but onstage they are the nicest and sweetest people.
The cast talked about their favorite episodes thus far in Scandal’s four seasons—“Run” and “752.” “Run,” part of the show’s current season, involved Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) being held hostage and trying to escape an unknown location. “752” was an episode in season two of the hit show and focused on Huck’s (Guillermo Diaz) time in the secret organization, “B-613.” In regards to an upcoming episode guest starring devoted Scandal fan Lena Dunham, the cast was asked, “Who would you like to see guest star in future episodes?” Tony Goldwyn responded by saying he would love to have President Obama or either Hillary or Bill Clinton.
The tight-knit and family-like cast is credited to Shonda Rhimes, who personally hand picks the cast to make sure there are no personalities that are going to clash. Katie Lowes talked about her casting process and said, “The day I got cast in Scandal was a magical day.” Kerry Washington also said the cast owes everything to Shonda Rhimes: “It’s not called Shondaland for nothing.” Jeff Perry chimed into the conversation by saying, “We’ve been amazed at how well we get along, and we all love coming to work.” The cast spoke very highly of creator Shonda Rhimes and attributed the show’s success to her.
The Scandal cast then dove headfirst into the most recent episodes. Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington talked about the block of episodes in which Fitz goes to war to save Olivia. Washington says that Shonda Rhimes wrote the ultimate “bring back our girls” storyline, and Goldwyn had hoped for more “sugar” once Olivia was returned home safely. Washington also touched upon last week’s emotional episode that brought about the themes of what has happened in Ferguson and across the country in terms of black lives. Washington was thrilled to tell this story and loved that it was focused on the idea that all lives matter. She discussed how in “The Lawn Chair,” Olivia had a coming of age and coming of race when she crossed the picket line.
The panel concluded with the cast talking about their favorite traits of their characters and how much they love the job. Bellamy Young talked about Mellie and said, “I’m happy to be a complicated person who has a hope of being powerful and who happens to be a woman.”
Scandal airs on Thursdays at 9/10c on ABC
For LiveStream of other PaleyFest panels this week visit: http://media.paleycenter.org/paleyfest-la-2015