Ripped from the headlines: ‘Scandal’ star Tony Goldwyn says show closer to reality than you may think
As wild as many of the Washington plot lines of ABC’s hit drama “Scandal” may be — complete with murder, election rigging, and a super-secret spy organization — the show isn’t always entirely implausible.
So says Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant III in the show.
“It seems outlandish, but some of it might be closer [to reality] than we think,” Goldwyn told “The Fine Print” in an interview that brought the fictional president to the real White House, and perhaps further blurred the line between truth and reality for “Scandal” fans everywhere.
Take, for example, a story line the show’s creator and writer Shonda Rhimes developed before a similar scenario actually played out in real life.
“The NSA scandal, the Edward Snowden thing … six months before that happened, Shonda came up with this crazy insane storyline about someone stealing NSA secrets and threatening to leak them,” Goldwyn said.
On playing the role of the president, Goldwyn said he tries to keep in mind that the character is in a constant state of crisis.
“Every day is essentially, you’re in crisis mode, so it’s kind of like trying to find a sense of grace under fire, which this president has done in spades, I thought,” Goldwyn said, complimenting President Obama.
He also admitted that the real president likely could not get away with many of the scandalous personal dramas that his character President Grant does, which includes an affair with a former staffer Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington.
His role as the president aside, Goldwyn revealed that he is “obsessed” with politics and stays up to date with the news in Washington. And as a self-proclaimed politics news junkie, he didn’t shy away from discussing his personal political views either.
Goldwyn said he thinks Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to be the next president and hopes she will run in 2016.
“I would support her 1000 percent,” Goldwyn said, going on to apologize in advance for being “a spoiler.”
Though he may have spoiled a presidential announcement for Hillary Clinton, he said he has nothing to spoil about the next season of “Scandal.” Goldwyn said he and his fellow “Scandal” cast members have very little advance knowledge of the scripts they act out for the show.
“We find out often the day before we start filming,” he said. “And [the scripts] are under a lock and key until the last possible minute and then we all sit down and read them out loud together. And it’s thrilling, really, because none of us have a clue what’s going to happen. So, we have these crazy table reads for every episode where we are all screaming, going ‘what?’”
Despite his lack of knowledge of the specifics of Season 4, Goldwyn predicted that his character will win Olivia back following her dramatic departure at the end of the last season.
“I expect I will drag her back kicking and screaming,” Goldwyn said. “I’m not going to let that girl go.”
Goldwyn also discussed his next big role of Mormon polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs in a Lifetime movie, who has certain similarities to his current character as President Grant.
“There’s a lot of sex involved,” Goldwyn admitted with a laugh. “He’s just a fascinating bizarre character who is in fact nothing like President Grant but … like Fitz, he’s a guy who’s in a position of extreme power even though it’s in his small community so there are connections there.”
For more of the interview with Goldwyn, including what part of playing the fictional president he’d most like to have in real life, check out this episode of “The Fine Print.”