Darby’s Reddit AMA Questions and Answers

What is your greatest regret in life so far?

This is how i feel like my character Abby on the show: i don’t think about regrets, ever. I don’t look back. I’m in the present, or i look forward.

Although I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I think it’s all part of great character growth and grand life lessons.

Hi Darby! I absolutely adore you & the cast. The rapport between you guys is incredible & undeniably real. I’m seeing Kerry tomorrow night and if you happen to answer these, YOU will make my entire year. 🙂

1.) For fun, I’ve been memorizing the long monologues to see how long it takes me to memorize the lines on the show. I know you guys get the script the day of sometimes. How long does it take you personally to know your lines?

2.) What are some of your favorite veggies to grow?

3.) Meatless Mondays! What is your go-to website to get recipes from?

4.) Did Josh Malina unblock you on Twitter yet?

Have a super, wonderful rest of the day! Love you!

1) I’m best when I have 48 hours. That’s my ideal time to memorize. But I can do it – I can work really well under pressure. Actors just find a way to learn lines when they HAVE to be learned. You find a way to make it happen. Or a good night’s sleep helps too. But 48 hours is the magic balance because you can make creative choices without having it too long, but yet be really really solid with those lines.

2) Arugula is one of my favorites. And lettuces. And blue dwarf kale.

3) I use cookbooks, primarily. My two top cookbooks that I pull from for meatless mondays are SUPERFOOD KITCHEN by Julie Morris, and EVERYDAY RAW DETOX – it’s by Matthew Kenny and some other brilliant woman that i can’t remember her name, but it’s brilliant and the recipes are brilliant.

4) No.

Love you too!

Who’s at your dream dinner party?

Martin Luther King… Abraham Lincoln… Coco Chanel… Sylvia Plath… Tina Fey.

Hi Darby! If you could play another of the main female characters in “Scandal” who would it be, and why?

Let’s choose Sally Langsten – she was the VP elect in Season 3.

The fact that she gets to say “Yum yum, Crispy Piggy” would be a great – I’d love to say those lines. I just thought her character was really really juicy and well-built.

Hi Darby! I love you so much! I wanted to ask… How do you wear such high heels?

Haha!

They are never any higher than 4 inches. And if they are, there’s a platform.

The key is not to wear them all the time, but to just wear them for short periods of time, and then do a lot of foot-strengthening exercises on my balance body Pilates machine.

Hey hey hey Darby! Are there any pranksters on the set of Scandal?

Josh Malina, Josh Malina, Josh Malina!

Ship name for Abby and Leo?

hashtag BERGAN

I saw it on Twitter and I think it’s brilliant.

I give credit to some SCANDAL Fan.

Hello Ms. Deep Fried Twinkie!! Castle is my favorite show ever, but Scandal is really good too 🙂 How was it working on the Castle set?

The Castle’s set very fun, the crew is very cool like the SCANDAL set is, I really like the creator, and Stana Katic who’s the lead and I did a play together, so we go way back, and she’s a great gal. And Nathan Fillion, he and i did WAITRESS together, a little indie movie, and he’s just a joy to hang out with on set because he is so funny, that is just who he is, it just comes effortlessly.

Do you think that we will ever get to see the tire iron scene between Abby, Liv, & Chip ?

Was it difficult to switch from the tough and headstrong Abby to one that is a little more timid & in need for the more vulnerable scenes ?

Thanks for answering our questions !

sighs

I have mixed thoughts. The fact that we’ve heard about it in a monologue sometimes is good enough, especially on a show like Scandal, where it moves at such a fast pace. Yet SCANDAL is also known for its infamously delicious flashbacks. So you never know. There’s always a possibility.

No, because the two sides of her are connected. I see Abby’s toughness as a result of having been vulnerable, and suffered. So they are one and the same to me.

Who was your favorite actor/actress when you were growing up?

MMMM!

My favorite actress growing up was Joan Collins, on DYNASTY. I LOVE how evil and nasty she was, to everybody! And I wanted to be her character. I wanted to be Alexis Carrington from a very young age.

Favorite actor? Probably Tommy Lee Jones. I’ve loved him in everything I’ve ever seen him in. Just something about his voice, and his face. I could get lost in his face. I think he’s great.

Do you prefer working in film or tv?

Hmmm.

To me, they’re apples & oranges. I like the time that you can take in film, the preparation tends to be a little bit longer, and it’s not as fast-paced. So there’s perhaps more time, for creative choices?

But I also like – there’s something satisfying about the pace of TV, and being able to see it – it goes out right away, you don’t have to wait forever for distribution or film festivals. So they’re different animals. What I like about TV is you really have to trust your gut instincts. You don’t have a lot of time to build a character, so your gut instincts are really the nugget of your creativity.

Favorite movie ever?

I have two.

It’s a dead tie.

THELMA & LOUISE. And THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

Hey Darby,

I really enjoy your performance on Scandal. Have you ever had any bizarre fan encounters?

Let’s see. There’s one overenthusiastic encounter in the grocery store. I was in the produce section, shopping for swiss chard, and a guy screamed from across the store “IT’S ABBY FROM SCANDAL IN THE PRODUCE SECTION!!!!”

He came running over at full speed, tackled me with a bear hug – and this guy was like 6 foot two – immediately got on his phone, called his friend in Aisle 4, said “DUDE YOU HAVE TO GET OVER TO THE PRODUCE SECTION, ABBY’S HERE…”

But that bear hug and the screaming just stands out as an especially sweet moment from one of my SCANDAL fans.

Hi darbs, hello from the netherlands! How hard was it to play last weeks ep for you personally?

This is hard to explain.

But it wasn’t difficult to do. But it was painful to do.

There was something about the material that was so special, the story was so touching, that I had an immediate connection to it.

AND on top of that, I’ve been living with this character for 3 and a half seasons, so I just honored to explore Abby’s underbelly.

Who would you like to have a scene with that you haven’t gotten to have one with yet ?

Ooh, that’s a good question.

I’m making my rounds.

I’d have to say the only person I haven’t done a one-on-one scene with is Scott Foley. So let’s start there.

Hi, ! Has directing crossed your mind ?

Um… No, not so much.

But I have thought a lot about and am looking into producing. I have a very entrepreneurial, business-like aspect to me, and so it interests me.

In your most recent episode, you touched on domestic abuse. Do you agree with how Abby handled the situation? It’s nice that a serious issue was brought up on Scandal. ❤

I think Abby handled it most right for her.

Anyone who has been through domestic violence will have their own unique perspective on what’s best for them.

You know, for Abby, she wasn’t game to be the symbolic media spokesperson for domestic violence at that time – YET she came to an inner piece within herself and was able to speak about it without any shame, or embarrassment, or sadness. And that is a win, in itself, for Abby.

But I do believe that this is an answer that the right answer is a case-by-case scenario. Because different people have different levels of comfort and different levels of healing.

Hello Darby. My wife watches Scandal all the time it seems like. She told me you are originally from Alaska. What was that like as a child? How many people were in your town?

It was incredibly isolated.

And rustic. But beautiful and magnificent.

The great outdoors was my playground. The fishing village I grew up in had approximately 1,000 people, but maybe 70% of those were fishermen. So really small town.

There were 50 people in my middle school and high school combined.

My graduating class – I left my junior year – but my graduating class had 9 people in it.

Hey Darby Stanchfield! Thank you for giving us this opportunity!

  • What was it like working with the cast and crew of How I Met Your Mother?
  • Do you have any off camera memories from Scandal?

Thank you again for giving us this opportunity, on behalf of this AMA I’d like to commend you on your talents and wish you luck on your current and future projects

Oh, those guys are HILARIOUS, for one.

But comedy for them is like breathing. It’s so natural. Their instincts are so sharp it hardly looks like they’re trying, they know each other so well, so it was fun to be a part of that for a week. I had a great time.

When I was at OPA, we used to give each other “eye hugs” from across the room.

Basically, an “eye hug” is you squeezing your eyes that you look at the other person you are madly obsessed with, hugging them with your eyes, and then when they get it they “hug” you back. It was a cheesy way we’d throw affection at each other, and it was so goofy we ended up laughing about it a lot.

I’m in the White House now, and I haven’t had an eye hug yet. Except the other day, with Kerry Washington, in a scene in my office – also known as the “desk scene.” So keep an eye out for it.

What was the largest fish you ever caught in Alaska?

Hmmm.

I went out with my dad in a little skiff with an outboard motor, and he pulled up a halibut that weight 300 pounds?

But me myself I’ve only caught wild King Salmon, and I never measured it, but the biggest one pulled me up to my hips, and the water came in over my hip waders. But i won! I got him to shore!

Hi Darby! I have been a HUGE fan of you since the days of Mad Men and I am HUGE HUGE fan of you on Scandal. I have some questions to ask:

  1. I saw that you graduated high school in the year of 1989. I was born in that year. Isn’t that awesome? What were the best memories you remember about that year?
  2. What was it like working with Jon Hamm and January Jones on Mad Men?
  3. Can you name only one word to describe the Scandal Winter Finale?
  4. How much fun do you have working with Bellamy Young?

1) I was still going through culture shock, having moved just a year ago from Alaska. So I was still like, in my pop culture infancy, I was still back in the early 80’s.

2) Jon Hamm is – you know, he’s like one of these guys, it’s ridiculous. He’s good looking, he’s super kind, he’s chivalrous to women, he knows everybody’s name, and on top of that, he’s extremely funny. So i had a great time working with him. January Jones is SO beautiful off camera, and the thing that surprised me the most about her is that she was quite shy. She’s lovely.

3) Breathtaking.

4) I LOVE working with Bellamy Young. She’s so prepared when she comes to set. She’s so specific in her character choices. She just IS Melly when we’re taping, and it’s infectious to be around her talent.

What’s the most surprised you’ve ever been at a Scandal table read by something that Abby said or did?

Hahaha!

Um… when Abby stole the Cytron voting card from David Rosen & lied to him that she didn’t have it, that was a bit of a shocker. And probably the most scandalous thing Abby’s ever done!

Hi, Darby, which director would you like to work with? Greetings from Argentina?

I am DYING to work with the Coen brothers. That’s my top choice, flat out. Every single thing they do is brilliant and it would be a dream come true.

Hey Darby! I’m a huge Scandal fan, but my questions actually don’t pertain to the show.

I’d love to know more about you: what do you do when you’re not working?

Are you passionate about any organizations or causes?

What kind of music do you listen to?

What are your favorite TV shows to watch?

Most importantly, what are your favorite emojis?

Thanks!

I love to cook – in fact, to unwind from SCANDAL, that’s one of the things I like to do. I like to make recipes up. I like to garden, i like to read. I like to hike and do runs on the weekend. I like to spend time alone.

Yes. I’m on the Young Hollywood Board of the Environmental Media Association, otherwise known as EMAs. It’s a nonprofit that is committed to raising awareness of the dire need for our society to live more green. So HUGE, huge advocate of protecting the environment.

I really like all types of music. It’s funny, when the light changes – i want to say October – I’ll go through this really short phase of listening to only classical music, doesn’t matter what it is, just the radio, for like 3 weeks a year. It’s like pumpkin spice lattes for my ears. I also like top 40, R&B, a little bit of punk, metal, I’m really close to a DJ and he has turned me onto deep house and really phenomenal dJs out of Germany and London and South America.

I love VEEP. I love SILICON VALLEY. I love House of Cards. And then there’s the classics. And of course… SCANDAL.

The little face with the eyes squinted shut and tongue hanging out is probably my top fave. I like… I also like the talk to the hand emoji.

And a classic red heart. BUT also I’m super obsessed with emojis, so can anyone pick just one?

If you could play any role- what would be?

I feel like I’m playing her right now. It’s Abby Wheelan.

Hey Darby! I was a huge fan of Jericho. Any cool stories you could share with us?

Hmm. The cast of JERICHO was really great. Being on the set of JERICHO felt like summer camp. There was a lot of energy that felt like you were like a little kid getting away with something – like summer camp energy – you’re away from home, hanging out with your friends, anything’s possible.

Darby what do you think about Lisa Kudrow?

She is so funny in person. Like, I used to think it was just this act, that she was acting or kind of put it on, but her sense of humor and comedic timing and delivery is just her, just part of who she is. When she was on SCANDAL, she had me in stitches when the camera wasn’t even rolling! On top of that, I love how level headed she is. She has her feet on the ground and is a real person.

What has been your most difficult character to play ?

Ohhhh…. I did a David Mamet play, called Oleanna, it’s a 2 person play, and it’s a professor and his female college student, and she’s not a very likable character, and it’s a lot of dialogue and a 2 person play. And just getting through the lines, just doing the play every night, felt like running a marathon. I physically would collapse on the ground backstage after we went offstage, every night, because it was SUCH an enormous undertaking.

Hey Darby, I love you so much. Since the very beginning, Abby is my favorite character and your acting is so perfect… You’re amazing! 😀 So I wanted to ask you…

What was the most epic moment you lived since you’re on Scandal?

What do you think about Shonda Rhimes?

What do you like about Abby?

First of all, thank you for your kind words!

So nice of you to like Abby.

This last episode, called “Baby Made a Mess,” was – the whole episode was epic for Abby. But especially the scene where Abby’s hiding under her desk, and Olivia brings her two new dresses to change. That scene was epic to shoot.

I’m fascinated by Shonda Rhimes. She’s a really, really, really good person, and loves people. Yet there’s somethingreally mysterious about her. She’s a genius. And a total enigma. And kind of reserved. And I LOVE that quality about her. And incredibly passionate about storytelling, and i wouldn’t change a thing about her.

I like that Abby has no filter? She says exactly what she thinks. And she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. That’s so freeing to play – a woman who is in that space, that she’s so comfortable with herself. I also like Abby’s loyalty to Olivia. Their friendship is one of those rare realistic TV friendships.

Which country in europe would you like to visit? And please say you are coming soon!

I LOVE Europe. And I’ve been to Italy twice, and I can’t get enough so i have to go back there. But i have yet to go to Prague, or France, or Germany, and those are others I’m interested in.

Darbs! What do you like to do during the hiatus? And can you believe it? Its already almost hiatus again! Time goes too fast! And when do you start working on the next ep again?

Well, we’re just at a little winter hiatus, so we start back up filming – we start filming the second half of season 4 mid-November. So we’re not really typically – the actors are never on a hiatus, really. We just got an extended weekend. November 14, I think is the day.

We don’t know that much about Abby’s life before OPA, other than her violent marriage to Chip and her days in law school with Liv, but what do you think Abby was like when she was younger? We’ve seen the 2 sides of her (with daily interactions at OPA & her more subdued demeanor with Chip – do you think she was always this bold brash woman who faltered for a brief time when she was with Chip, or was the shift into the fireball we now know her to be in reaction to her divorce with Chip?

That is SUCH a brilliant question. Really well thought-through. I think Abby’s turned into a fireball – no filter, outspoken woman – and my guess, it’s only a guess until Shonda writes it – is that Abby was more soft-spoken and had a fiery side to her but she just muted it a lot more. But the marriage to Chip, her ex-husband, was a pre-arranged marriage, I believe, So she wouldn’t be as fiery as she is now and be in an arranged marriage. She had to be a little bit more timid.

Hi there, Darby – Happy Wednesday!

If you could steal the wardrobe of one Scandal character to have in real life, who would it be?

Thanks to you and Lyn Paolo for making Thursday a very chic night for TV!

Wow.

I would steal Abby’s wardrobe in season 3. The leather jackets, the high-waisted Katherine Hepburn pants… so chic.

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