On April 12, 2018 Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young and Shonda Rhimes were featured in the New York Times magazine to celebrate Scandal's final episode and the legacy Shonda Rhimes has created with the TV show.
- → Read the full article at: The Gladiators of ‘Scandal’ Leave the Arena (NY Times)
'As “Scandal” heads toward its finale, Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, and three of its stars discuss its craziest twists, its nuanced handling of racial issues and its legacy'. - NY Times
- → See and enjoy 6 pictures from 2018 NY Times Scandal Feature at Images from 2018 NY Times Scandal Feature.
Can we go back to the show’s beginning? I always imagined that you wanted to do a show with a black female lead, but that it was almost historically impossible. Did you have a strategy to create a viewership that would be able to “see” Olivia Pope?
I don’t believe in things being impossible, so it never occurred to me that it would be impossible. “Grey’s Anatomy” was my first television show and it turned out to be an enormous, giant, crazy hit right out of the gate, which afforded me a lot of power. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with that power, but that power was a very effective tool. And when I met Judy Smith [a well-known Washington crisis manager] and knew that I wanted to write the show, it never occurred to me that there would be a problem making a show with an African-American lead. I was more surprised at how surprised everyone was than anything else. I felt good storytelling is good storytelling.Shonda Rhimes
Did you think about the moral ambiguity of playing President Fitzgerald Grant III, this complicated, Republican president who is really very left-leaning, in the age of Obama? He even kills a Supreme Court justice at one point.
Moral ambiguity is one of the great things about the show. As a storyteller, Shonda took huge swings right off the bat. Well before the murder, I remember there was an episode where you thought Fitz may or may not have had an affair with Amanda Tanner [a former White House intern] in the first season. And there was one scene where a recording [of the affair] appears. I went up to Mark Wilding, who is Shonda’s head writer, and I said so you’re going to kill Fitz off? I thought there’s no way that this character could come back from this.Tony Goldwyn
Given the limited number of episodes ABC originally ordered, did you feel like you had to cultivate your own audience? Is that why you turned to Twitter?
It also made “Scandal” appointment TV because you wanted to be a part of the conversation. We are all theater kids and we loved it because it felt like we could feel our audience there. You could see how those scenes landed and if that joke worked or if the audience cried. People came together across the globe.Bellamy Young
What do you want the legacy of these characters to be?
WASHINGTON I can barely breathe right now. It has taken every tool in my acting toolbox to not weep through this entire interview. It’s very raw.Kerry Washington
- The Gladiators of ‘Scandal’ Leave the Arena - NY Times