Most actors will tell you that the fight to avoid being typecast is often an uphill struggle. The cast of ABC’s new Washington D.C-set drama Scandal knows they got lucky. “I’ve been playing a lot of bad guys and thugs [who are] over-the-top,” says actor Guillermo Diaz (Weeds, No Ordinary Family), who plays former CIA operative-turned-crisis management expert, Huck. “And when I first read [Scandal], I remember crying and getting really emotional thinking, ‘They’re not going to pick me. It’s not me.’…I’ve never played a character like this before.”

The case is the same for star Kerry Washington, who has stepped into an uncommon role herself, as a black actress leading a primetime network drama. “I think what strikes me most is that it’s a little bit sad that it’s a question that I’m asked often,” she says. “It’s just interesting that we live in a world where it’s so rare to see an African-American woman in a position like this…. I think it says a lot about the world and the business that it’s such a rare sighting.”

But Washington and her castmates credit creator Shonda Rhimes for being able to break the mold and “follow in the footsteps of Private Practice and Grey’s.” “What we do as actors is reflect humanity, and humanity is a wide range of people,” says Washington. “I think that’s one of the great things about Shonda. She allows opportunities for actors who fall into all categories.”

And characters, too. In fact, Washington says that as the season progresses, the team at Olivia Pope and Associates will surprise viewers with their backstories and how they came to work with Olivia. “One of the things Shonda does really well is write real human beings, people who have complicated layers,” says Washington. “As the season goes on, nobody is who you think they are. Everybody has secrets that unfold and the secrets become more complicated, and dangerous, and fun for the audience. But not so fun for the characters at times.”

More from the cast of Scandal in the video below:


Episode Recaps


Shonda Rhimes’ political drama: Sex! Murder! Olivia’s suits!

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