"Scandal." Am I right, guys?
ABC's Shonda Rhimes drama -- starring Emmy nominee Kerry Washington as white hat-wearing D.C. fixer Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn as the (married) President who loves her -- just doesn't stop, with surprises, reveals, twists and turns in every single episode. The Season 2 finale left us with some jaw-dropping cliffhangers, and a whole lotta questions.
If you're not yet initiated into the ways of the Gladiators, "Scandal": The Complete Second Season is out on DVD soon (Tues., Sept. 3), giving you plenty of time to catch up before Season 3 premieres (Thurs., Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC).
But for those diehards, we've got some scoop for you, straight from Fitz himself, star Tony Goldwyn. How soon will we find out who leaked Fitz and Liv's relationship to the press? What's happening at the White House when we pick back up? And is there a chance that Fitz and his wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) can be happy together again?
Goldwyn teases all of that and more, including the Fitz-Liv-Jake (Scott Foley) love triangle that has everyone upset, revelations about Fitz and Jake's past, his favorite scene to shoot so far -- it's a steamy one! -- and the scene that shocked him the most.
When you read the last few minutes of last season's finale -- where we find out that Olivia and Fitz's relationship had been leaked to the press -- who did your gut tell you leaked the info?
Oh God … I guess I thought it was Mellie, but that seemed too obvious, so I really had no idea. Cyrus or Mellie … I just couldn't believe it. I was so shocked. We read the scripts together for the first time at the table read, and when that happened, everyone jumped up.
How soon this season will we find out who leaked it?
Very soon. And you will be really shaken by it.
What is Fitz's attitude and demeanor when we pick back up with Season 3? Back to the booze? Getting back on track politically? Reeling in any way from that big reveal?
You know, it's interesting because all hell is breaking loose at the White House over this revelation, and Fitz is kind of trying to regain his center. I think he's kind of the calm in the storm, in a way. He's really determined to be a stabilizing force, if that's even possible, because everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And Fitz is not having that. We'll see him trying to think clear-headedly, even though that's extremely difficult because he gets kind of buffeted at every turn.
Well he has the power, but he doesn't have all the power. There's Mellie, there's Cyrus and his sneaky ways, now David Rosen … he's surrounded himself with a lot of trouble.
Yeah, that's right. One of the things I loved that Fitz came to in the latter part of Season 2 -- even though he sort of faltered at the end -- he got very committed to honesty and telling the truth and living in reality, as opposed to constantly being strung along and led by the nose of a few different people's agendas. So I sort of feel like that has not changed too much. Fitz really wants to approach everything in as upfront a way as possible. Now there's lots of people in his life who are gonna object to that and keep him from doing it. Fitz is trying to steer clearly through this … but he's not successful. [Laughs.] Lots of bombs go off in his face.
And they're usually involving Mellie. I mean, his head in her lap -- come on, man!
Yeah, it killed me too. I couldn't figure that one out! It was great -- I thought it was a great story turn, but it was very hard to do.
I'm sure. Do you think Fitz and Mellie can ever be happy together again?
No. I don't. I don't think so. That's just me -- I have no idea what Shonda's intending, but I don't see it. I think Fitz knows that he and Olivia are supposed to be together … whether they ever will be is anyone's guess, but I think once you know what he knows about Olivia, there's no way you can backtrack and settle for a relationship like the one he has with Mellie. It's just too toxic and too fraudulent on a lot of levels. Even though he has genuine respect and love for Mellie, and he feels a duty to her, but I think Fitz and Mellie are not good for each other.
But Mellie … I mean Bellamy Young is just so good.
Oh my God, isn't she brilliant? Bellamy Young is so brilliant. And in Season 3, she gets to do some stuff … I mean, already, she's got some stuff that's just amazing.
I love the way Shonda and the writers play with that, where we love to hate someone so much. Fitz wouldn't be the guy for Liv if there wasn't Mellie in his life. It's sort of the same thing with Scott Foley's character, Jake, who got a lot of hatred from fans …
I know -- it's crazy. And he's the sweetest guy on Earth. I feel so bad!
He was telling me that you all are going to delve more into Jake and Fitz's past connections this season. What can you tease about that?
Honestly I don't know what I can tease, but I know that's true -- there's lots of suggestions that that's where we're going. There's a lot of dark tunnels we're gonna be going down, I suspect, that dig up more details about Fitz and Jake. He's a very interesting character who I think is just going to get more complicated as we go.
We know Fitz has secrets with his past in the Navy … do you want us to see more bad guy Fitz?
You haven't seen it enough already? I already committed murder! [Laughs.] Absolutely. That's the best thing about the show, I think -- all of us are equal parts dark and light. I would be frustrated if Fitz suddenly became the squeaky-clean good guy. Then he'd be much less compelling. I think what makes him really interesting is you get really invested in him but he behaves as badly as anybody on this show.
I have a technical question about Fitz behaving badly: Does B613 fall directly under his purview? And did he know that Liv's dad Rowan was running the show?
Um, I can't answer that. Partly because I don't really know where we're going with that, but also, to answer that specifically would reveal things that I think are better left for the audience to discover. To even tease that would spoil it. But B613 continues to be an important part of Season 3, and it gets more complicated and more complex.
No please don't spoil anything, but you can talk theories: We know they're truly in love now, but is it possible that Fitz started out his relationship with Liv with the wrong intentions? To catch her father in his blindspot?
Oh my God. I hope not. Wow. Jeez -- now you've got me worried! [Laughs.] Oh my God, I'm not gonna sleep tonight!
Fitz seemed so devastated when he found out Liv and Jake had hooked up and yet ... he sent Jake! Do you think he was self-sabotaging just a bit, knowing that it'd be hard to get re-elected as a divorced man now with his mistress?
No … no, I don't think so. I think Fitz completely trusted Jake in a moment when he was trusting absolutely nobody, and he needed desperately to have somebody he could rely on. Whatever their past bond is, he really trusted Jake. Even though he was devastated to find out that Olivia had slept with Jake, and that Jake had betrayed him … which was no small thing. I think he really had genuine trust and faith in Jake in a way that is very unique to people that've been in the kind of stuff that Jake and Fitz have been in together in the past. At the same time, I don't think Fitz is really threatened by Jake. I think he knows Olivia loves him. So as much as he is angry and resentful and would want to kill Jake, it doesn't make him question Olivia's love for him.
What has been your favorite "Scandal" scene so far?
You know what was really fun to do? [Laughs.] This sounds a little more superficial than it's intended, but the love scene in the Oval Office, when we ended up making love on the desk … I just thought that was such a great scene. The playfulness of it, and what it said about the nature of Liv and Fitz's chemistry, and the kind of incredible boldness of Shonda Rhimes to create that scene in the first place, to have sex on the desk in the Oval Office. It was just so outrageous -- that was really fun, and I loved doing it.
And what scene have you been most shocked by?
It was the scene at Verna's funeral when I told Liv that I wasn't interested in being with her. When she comes up and tells me that she'll leave Edison and she'll wait for me, and I say, "Oh yeah, I've changed my mind about that." And I'm cold and I walk away … that was the one that rocked me the most. When we were reading it out loud, I almost couldn't speak the words, I was so shocked by it.
In a word, how would you describe Season 3 so far?
It's not a word, but pushing the envelope. That's the way I would describe it. Shonda's continuing to forge ahead and surprise … there's no repeats. It just continues in Season 3. I am really amazed at her ability to just keep driving forward. She's just on fire.
Are you slated to direct any more episodes this season?
Yeah, I'm going to direct one in the second half. I'm not sure which one yet, but I know it'll be in the second half.
"Scandal" Season 3 premieres Thurs., Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.