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Shonda Rhimes reveals what it was like to shoot her EW cover in new book, 'Year of Yes'

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JAMES WHITE for EW

Shonda Rhimes’ new book, Year of Yes, is out Tuesday and details a full year in her life in which she said yes to everything. One thing in particular was the offer to appear on EW’s cover with the stars of her hit Shondaland shows, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder.

Rhimes describes the experience of shooting with Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, and all the characters in the Shonda-verse in the book’s final chapter, “Yes to Beautiful.” At first, she explains she was asked to stand on an apple box to be photographed.

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“I am here with the leading ladies of Thursday night. Ellen, Kerry, Viola and I are doing a photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly,” she writes. “I’m about to become a cover girl for one of the most popular magazines in the country. Stand on this apple box? Hell yeah, I will.”

She writes that she zeroes in on photographer James White and his crew. “I stand as tall as I can, hoping to make their view more pleasing. I suck in my stomach as much as it will suck; I try to put on a face that looks like some version of confident and fierce. I try to look like a supermodel. Oh that is not gonna happen. I have to shake my head, amused that I even wanted to try.”

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Rhimes also reveals that she wanted to run from the photo shoot, joking she could include that in Year of Yes — “Yes to running” —but instead she leans into the awe of shooting a magazine cover.

“I mean the idea that a year ago, this would have seemed preposterous. Now it seems fun.” 

JAMES WHITE for EW