While many might have you believe that the biggest mystery surrounding SCANDAL’s salacious first season involved the identity of one Quinn Perkins, there was a far bigger question that kept your very own TV Addict up at night. Namely, what on earth actor Joshua Malina was doing without his trademark glasses? Which is precisely why at ABC’s All-Star Summer Party during July’s Television Critics Association Press Tour, we made it our mission to track down Malina and get to the bottom of this! Not surprisingly, the affable actor was only too happy to subject himself to our somewhat silly questions and provide equally snappy answers to boot. See for yourself, after the jump.
During SCANDAL season one, long-time Josh Malina fans such as myself were taken aback by your lack of trademark eyewear. How much thought went into that decision and was it a conscious one?
Josh Malina: That’s a very interesting question.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but like apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah, Josh Malina and glasses go hand in hand!
This is a big bombshell… but I got radial keratotomy surgery many years ago, which was the worst decision I’ve ever made because I love glasses. I’m wearing fake glasses right now, my vision is fantastic, I don’t know why I’m outing myself right now, but these are utterly fake [Editor’s Note: Fellow TV Critic Amber Dowling, who was taking part in this interview tried on Malina’s glasses to confirm this!]
Quite honestly, I think you just stole Quinn Perkins’ thunder. Talk about scandal!
I instantly realized although I could now see, I could no longer accessorize. That and the fact that I have “old man” eyes now, I want to cover up my face as much as possible. So short of a ski mask, I go with fake glasses.
Who gets the final say as to whether or not Josh Malina wears glasses during SCANDAL’s second season?
Everything is up to Shonda [Rhimes]. I’m very comfortable with that being the M.O.!
Congratulations on your promotion to series regular this season by the way, does that mean you’ll get a little more to do than simply show up and stare down Olivia every episode?
I didn’t feel that’s what I was relegated to last season, but it means that whatever I do do, at the end of the episode I’ll get much more money for it! So in that sense it’s great news. But I was actually very happy with everything I got to do last season. I’m not one of those people who is too concerned with how many scenes, or do I have enough screen time. If it’s good, I’m happy and Shonda gives me good stuff to do and based on the first episode I continue to get good stuff.
Well as fans, we just want to see more Malina!
I’m delighted to hear that, that makes me happy. But I’m also comfortable with leave them wanting more. That’s okay too.
When you signed onto SCANDAL did you realize that it would evolve into sort of the guilty pleasure nighttime sudser that it has?
Most of the time when you read at TV script, surprising is the last thing that it is. I was impressed to see a seven episode major arc with all these mini stories. It’s a thriller, it’s a procedural, it’s a legal show, the writers just threw all these balls in the air and managed to catch them gracefully. Even knowing Shonda’s track record and having worked with her before, I feel this show is its own original creation.
Is there anything at all you can share about what’s ahead for your character during SCANDAL season two?
The truth is, it’s one of the limiting things to a person doing an interview yet one of the enjoyable things as an actor is that I don’t really know beyond what I’m working on now. I literally just got emailed the second episode, but to know the long game you have to have a higher clearance level than I have. So all I really know is bit by bit and as of the first episode there is both butting of heads and trying to work together [Between Malina’s character David Rosen and Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope], so I think that’s going to continue. Are we friends, allies, antagonists? I expect it to change moment by moment.
Your Twitter feed is, for lack of a batter word, amazing. Honestly, how much thought goes into crafting your tweets?
I do a lot of dumb jokes that occur to me at the moment, I’ll spend a little time just trying to craft them just right because the wording is very important. And occasionally I will do things where my heart is a little bit pounding as I’m saying something provocative to some celebrity I don’t particularly respect. Because I’ve seen other people — and have been part of the mad dog pile of people who have made the slightest mistake and just get shit-smacked for it. So knowing I could end up on the wrong side of it, I do try to think things through. My intent rarely is to be malicious or hostel, but sometimes you have to have been following me for a while to know that I’m not a complete asshole. But I do occasionally worry I’ll be misconstrued, but that’s part of the fun.
Having worked with two prolific showrunners in Aaron Sorkin and Shonda Rhimes, is there one quality that you can point to that they share?
That is a great question. Off the top of my head, they certainly share an incredible discipline and dedication. They just work, work, work and write, write and write. Shonda Rhimes bounces around between three shows, writing, breaking stories, it is sort of super human while Aaron [Sorkin] is the kind of person who would crank out twenty-two WEST WING scripts in one season which is also superhuman. They both just have this otherworldly focus mixed with raw talent to do things normal humans cannot.
And finally, will we ever see you drop into THE NEWSROOM?
If you don’t it won’t be for my lack of trying because I have lobbied Aaron hard and shamelessly. Until he just makes a big sign you will never be on my show I will continue to lobby him. I think it could happen.
SCANDAL airs Thursdays at 10PM on ABC (CityTV in Canada).