Warning: spoilers ahead.
With all the love triangles, political intrigue and torturing people with bags of oranges on ABC’s Scandal, there’s one thing people might not know: how tight knit the cast the cast of the hit Shonda Rhimes show is in real life.
This came through clear as day while watching the ensemble at their recent Vulture Festival Panel. Vulture Festival is a two-day pop culture extravaganza that took place on November 18 and 19, consisting of panels of multiple actors on a variety of shows and movies. The group consisted of Kerry Washington, Scott Foley, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Cornelius Smith Jr., Darby Stanchfield, George Newbern, Guillermo Diaz, Joe Morton, Jeff Perry and Joshua Malina.
In the one-hour panel, Gladiators got a ton of insight into the friendships and experiences of the cast, as well as some hints into Scandal‘s ending.
1. The cast seriously loves each other
“There’s not someone on this stage who has not taught me something about acting,” Washington said. “That’s for real. That’s not a sound bite, that’s not to sell the brand that we like each other. That’s for real. I’m blown away by the talent on this stage.”
Washington’s sentiments were reassured throughout the panel, with all of the cast celebrating each other’s talent and dedication to the show.
2. They love their show creator just as much as they love each other
The panel deeply admired Rhimes’ commitment to not diversifying television, but normalizing it. Washington noted that a wide scope of races, genders and sexualities is indicative of everyday life, and shouldn’t be ignored on television. She said how few straight, white men were sitting on the stage with her, and how a diverse cast mirrors reality.
3. They love the Shakespearean writing on the show — especially the monologues
“Shonda is a word-loving, word drenched writer… she writes like Black church meets Shakespeare meets Tony Morrison, ” Perry said.
They said that it can be a challenge to have grand speeches and still ground Scandal in reality, but are able to do so with the support and ability to rely on each other in a given scene.
4. The show loves celebrating girl power
In a show where two women are in charge of the White House, this comes as no surprise.
Young said she watched Dennis Haysbert as the first black president on 24, and hopes that her as the first president before American history will be a symbol that it’s possible in the future. She said that we are very behind on the times in the United States.
Stanchfield noted how cool it was that Quinn Perkins and Associates was handed down to the youngest person on staff, one of the only women on the staff, and above all that, the pregnant person on the staff. Now, Quinn is in charge of a renowned agency, and is even the boss of her fiance.
5. A lot of the cast has behind the camera experience as well
Foley and Goldwyn have both directed episodes for the Shondaland show. And in the back-half of season seven, fans get to look forward to watching episodes through the lenses of Washington, Stanchfield and Morton. Foley said his experience working with the cast as an actor allows him to better understand what each actor is capable of.
“There’s so much talent up here, and to be able to watch it and try to mold it in one direction over the other,” Foley said. “Because I know what Guillermo’s capable of, I know what I want to see him do… that’s really everybody up here, I feel that way, except for Josh Malina.”
Malina’s response to the light hearted joke was two middle fingers back to Foley.
6. Social media has really shaped the show
Stanchfield said that every time Abby has a showdown with Olivia, she’s scared to go on Twitter.
Chatting with the fans every week is something very important for the cast, because they get a closer connection to the viewers. They noted that it’s almost like virtual theater.
Goldwyn noted that he was against tweeting and social media during the first season, but as Scandal grew, he realized what a valuable avenue it is for both the cast and the fans to discuss each episode with each other.
7. The actors know just as much as we do about the finale
The cast gets their information script-to-script, so they are just as in the dark about the future of Olivia and gang as we are. They said they know not everybody in the world will be happy with the ending– they’re not even sure if they’ll be happy. They are sure that if one person will be satisfied, it’ll be Rhimes.
And the death of Quinn? They weren’t going to spill anything.
You’ll just have to finish watching the final season of Scandal. The series finale is on April 19.
Photos Courtesy of Joe Scarnici/ Getty Images for Vulture Festival