Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes doesn’t want her political drama to be something you can watch while folding the laundry — she wants it to have your full attention. And Thursday’s surprise-packed season finale ensured that it would.
After the episode aired, Jimmy Kimmel turned Live! into Behind the Scandalabra — a special featuring Rhimes, who discussed the finale and gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the show. Among the highlights: a blooper reel that reveals Bellamy Young’s go-to word when she messes up a line is “fart,” and that Josh Malina was once pied by a crew member while filming a scene.
Rhimes was predictably tight-lipped about the juicy stuff — i.e. Harrison’s fate — but she did tell Kimmel how she breaks up with actors, and where she draws the line on crazy plot lines. Here’s what we learned:
On telling actors their character is dead: “You really have to have sort of have the topic sentence ready. The first thing you have to say, ‘I’m sorry you’re going to die, and here’s how and why, and we love you’…You can’t call and sort of back into it, because that’s a little bit cruel.”
On whether the threat of death keeps actors in line: “I think it keeps Josh Malina in line…He’s very in line with me. He’s lovely. He does so many crazy pranks on our set — insane, insane, pranks, that I don’t know if everybody else thinks he’s in line. But he hasn’t pranked me yet, and I’m very grateful for that.”
On what’s going on with Olivia: “She did quit her job. You might watch her on the beach somewhere, we’ll have to see next season.”
On Jake’s fate: “We fight a lot. There’s a lot of yelling and fighting in the writers’ room…The one that caused the most drama was when we tried to figure out what we were gonna do — we had a mid-season finale, and fans saw that Jake had been chosen by the president to run B-613. There was also a pitch that Jake was chosen by the president to be his vice presidential candidate. Half the room wanted him to be vice presidential candidate, and half the room wanted him to be head of B-613. And we fought about it right up until the last minute, so much so that we shot both ways. So we had both ways on camera and filmed, and I had to watch them and go, vice president feels stupid, B-613 feels good. But it was literally a battle right up until the finish.”
On how crazy Scandal will go: “We would not do alien abductions.”
On Quinn and Huck’s first time: “It was pitched in the writers’ room. And we really felt like Quinn and Huck were not the kind of people who were gonna go out to dinner and then maybe fall onto a bed of roses with curtains and candles. It just didn’t feel like them. So we wanted Quinn and Huck’s first time to feel like Quinn and Huck.”
Watch Kimmel’s interviews with Rhimes below:
And the blooper reel, featuring lots of Kerry Washington (adorably) dancing: