Kerry Washington, who plays Scandal‘s now-iconic American political fixer Olivia Pope, insists that she’s a play-by-the-rules kind of gal in real life. At the end of taping THE WRITERS’ ROOM, she sweetly made sure to thank everyone in the crew. Individually. And why not? That’s just good upbringing… or a calculated career move intended to lure THE WRITERS’ ROOM staff into a sense of complacency while she continues to run the world from her fabulously fashionable offices in DC. Who knows if she’ll need a favor from host Jim Rash down the line, right? Perhaps there’s more Olivia in her than she knows!
In our “Scandal” episode of TWR, the focus was all on suspense: shocking reveals, 180-degree plot twists and impossible circumstances that keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The most shocking according to fans? Momma Pope chewing her wrists to get out of prison. Drastic measures? You bet. Just watch Kerry squirm as the footage replays during the broadcast. But before, during and after taping, writers Mark Wilding and Heather Mitchell maintained that no one could predict what insane places this last season would go to, even as show creator Shonda Rhimes confessed to having an ultimate endgame in mind. “That’s the nature of the storytelling on this show… back everyone into a corner and… then you watch them fight their way out,” said Shonda. And while Scandal fans know that no character is safe from harm, Shonda let it leak off-camera that one of our beloved cast member is not going to make it to next season.
Speaking of behind-the-scenes reveals: Kerry Washington was pregnant during our shoot! And beaming about it. Of course the tabloids have picked up on the story since her baby bump made its way glamorously to the Oscars in February, but at the time of shooting TWR, no one seemed to know but Kerry herself. (Isn’t that always the case?) Once the not-so secret secret came out, Shonda took a snap of the actress and posted it to Instagram. Minutes later, it had a couple thousand likes. No big deal.
After all, everything happens immediately in the world of Scandal. “Never save story,” producer Jenna Bans admits is one of Rhimes’ tenets: if something needs to happen—murder, sex, divorce, scandal!—then it will happen now. That strategy has made Scandal must-see television for everyone. Just ask Mariah Carey and Lena Dunham who are tweeting that they, like everyone else, can’t get enough.