Tony Goldwyn – who plays President Fitzgerald Grant on Scandal, prime-time’s soapiest drama – has seen first-hand the evolving audience of his hit show. “We immediately realized that we had a very rabid fan base,” he explains. “Initially it was a very female-oriented show.” But somewhere during Season Two, things began to shift. “I had guys coming up to me saying, ‘My girlfriend really likes your show.’ And then I’d hear, ‘My girlfriend got me into your show and I really like it,’ and now, literally today when I stopped to get lunch, a guy says, ‘Oh man, I love your show!’ Men want to be Gladiators too!”
Though Goldwyn’s character isn’t a Gladiator (the term used for the professional fixers on the show – and one co-opted by fans), he’s learned a thing or two about playing his cards close to his chest. A report that leading lady Kerry Washington – who plays fixer-extraordinaire and sometimes Presidential mistress Olivia Pope – is pregnant with her first child sent Twitter into a congratulatory fury yesterday. But when asked mere hours after the news broke, Goldwyn played it coy.
“I just heard there are rumors, so no, I’m not confirming anything. I’d be skeptical. It may just be Internet buzz.” But what about the implications for the show? Will it be America’s Baby Part Two? How will Mellie react? What if it’s Jake’s baby? “We’ll just have to wait for that conversation.” Got it, Fitz. It’s handled.
Potential #Scandalbaby plots aside, the very real connection the show has with its fans has been one of the highlights for Goldwyn and the cast, who all live-Tweet during its Thursday broadcasts. “For me, it was interesting, because I’d been a part of hit movies before” – he played the villain in the 1990 classic Ghost and is set to star in next year’s anticipated Divergent – “but that only happens a year after you finish. With a TV series, you can interact with your fans as it’s happening, and that’s exciting.” Plus, all that Tweeting keeps the Grant administration on their toes. “It makes it more of an event that people want to be a part of,” Goldwyn says, adding, “Josh Malina (who plays U.S. Attorney David Rosen) is hilarious. He’s always provoking people to talk trash.”
And while Fitz is busy juggling his formidable First Lady Mellie (Bellamy Young), his star-crossed affair with Olivia, his involvement in the ever unraveling Operation Remington, and his role in maybe (possibly) running the country, Goldwyn says he knows better than to try and predict what his character’s future may hold. “I don’t have any hopes or ambitions for Fitz. I hope he stays in the White House,” he laughs. “I mean, I think he’ll have a job!”
As for Remington, the off-the-record, black-ops cover-up that left a major cliff-hanger last week? When will that fall into place? “There are multiple bombshells to come, and you’ll get at least one of them this week,” Goldwyn promises. Not only that, but Fitz and Jake’s still-unclear past will start to make some sense. “We get deeper into their history. We have some fun stuff together that Bellamy Young was calling ‘lady porn.'”
“I won’t go into more detail, but that was her remark when we all watched the episode together.”
Ladies (and gents) – you’ve been forewarned.