Filming Thursday’s intense Scandal episode was particularly hard for Katie Lowes, who had two harrowing scenes that tested her limits.
On Friday, the actress called into EW Radio’s Obsessed to discuss “Dead in the Water,” which she says was a “huge undertaking” in general for the show because it featured many stunts they had not yet attempted, including underwater work and a car dangling from a cliff. For Lowes (Quinn), the challenges came in the form of a torture scene she shared with Phoebe Neidhardt (Meg) and a stunt-heavy exchange with Darby Stanchfield (Abby).
“Oh my God, it was horrible,” said Lowes, recalling how her character chops off Meg’s finger with weed cutters in the torture scene. “It’s awesome because I get to play this badass crazy chick on TV who tortures people, but oh my gosh, it’s so, so, so far from who I am.”
The scene was even tougher to shoot because Lowes is a morning person but shot it at 11 p.m. “I would go up to her real life finger with an actual weed cutter and then everyone would call pause and then they would come and run in like a rubber safe one. But I’m like, ‘Oh my God, you guys, I’m so tired. I can’t believe I’m even putting a real one near this lovely girl’s actual finger,'” she said.
Lowes continued: “It was just one of these Scandal moments where I just stopped and looked around [and] said, ‘What the hell am I doing? Please don’t mess this up.'”
Later in the episode, Quinn angrily lunges over a table at Abby after discovering her role in Huck’s disappearance and the cover-up. Not only did Lowes perform the stunt herself, but she had to do it anywhere from 20 to 30 times. “I did have knee pads on, but I was covered in bruises for a while because, again, Quinn [is] far more of a badass than I am and I’m a klutz. Yes, it might have looked cool, but every time I jumped on that table I cracked my shin on the table,” said Lowes. “I really liked doing it because Quinn is just so mad at Abby. I just really felt fired up.”
Listen to the entire interview below to find out about the emotional scene she shared with Guillermo Diaz, who plays Huck, at the end of the episode.
In addition to starring on Scandal, Lowes is also the co-artistic director of IAMA Theatre Company. In March, the group received support from Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes, whose Rhimes Family Foundation became IAMA’s new patron of the arts. Thanks to Rhimes’ support, IAMA will commission a new work from a budding playwright as part of the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission. “Now Shonda is a big supporter and helper for us,” said Lowes at the end of the interview, “and we will continue to make thriving, interesting, and captivating theatre art in Los Angeles.”
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.