SCANDAL Scoop: Jeff Perry and Guillermo Diaz Dish on Television’s Most Addictive Guilty Pleasure

A conspiracy, a presidential shooting, an election-rigging, and illicit affairs – you name it and SCANDAL’s got it.  SCANDAL has become the “water cooler” show of the season and nobody can predict what crazy thing is going to happen next.  Fortunately, during the recent TCA set visit, cast of SCANDAL took a few minutes to share a few teasers about what Cyrus and Huck and what may lie ahead in their collective futures.

Guillermo Diaz
About Huck and his love-life, is Huck scared away from love or is he going to be willing to take another chance?
GUILLERMO:  I think he’s completely scared away from love right now.  I mean, wouldn’t you be if the person you thought you loved shot the president?  I think he was taking all the right steps forward in his life trying to get sober from his lifestyle, his addiction, and now that this happened. I think he’s taken 10 steps back.  

Is it going to send him back into his shell again?
GUILLERMO:  Yeah, which sucks for Huck. But it’s going to make for interesting storylines for the show.

Have they given you a glimpse of where those storylines may go for the rest of the season?
GUILLERMO:  No, it’s a total surprise.  I remember when I read the script about Huck disassembling the gun and I really thought, “Oh wow, I guess I just shot the president.”  They didn’t tell me that Huck didn’t really shoot him.

As an actor, did that scare you?  Like you were thinking, “I would have never done that!”
GUILLERMO:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  It makes me think, “Who is this guy?”  Who the character is.  ‘Cause I would have never thought that he’d do that.

Like his loyalty for his country would have prohibited him from even conceiving of such an idea.
GUILLERMO:  Exactly.  I had a crazy theory that he may have shot the President because Olivia was getting too wrapped up and being too emotionally hurt by Fitz. So his way of severing those ties and saving her was to shoot him.

Save her by killing her true love?  That would have been twisted!
GUILLERMO:  Right!  But it wasn’t that, thankfully.

We did get a glimpse into Huck’s personal world a little bit, which was fascinating.  Yet now it seems like they slammed the door closed again because, even as he let someone into his life, maybe he doesn’t want anyone seeing that either.  It puts him back in a closed world.  But is Huck ready to be back in a closed world?  He looked like he really wanted to be a part of the normalcy of everyone else’s lives.
GUILLERMO:  I keep comparing him to a stray dog.  Olivia took him in and he’s loyal to her. But for that stray dog, if the owner treats him well, then his demeanor changes and he turns into a different dog, and he’s turning into a different man now, even more than before.

Like he’s experiencing more emotions, he’s caring about people, he feels welcomed and loved.
GUILLERMO:  And on top of that, the person that he loved has betrayed him. So that’s making him even more tormented in his head.  

Is Huck going to seek Becky out and find out what’s going on with her even though she’s locked up and held secretly away?
GUILLERMO:  You’re definitely going to see Becky again.  Huck does have more scenes with Becky.

That love doesn’t go away over night, even though she did something horrendous and even set him up. He can’t just erase that.
GUILLERMO:  We’ve all been in relationships where we know the person is not good for you but when it’s over you still want to be with them.  In real life, you’re still drawn to those people you shouldn’t be with.

Has the show closed the door on the murder investigation of that family Huck loved and Becky set him up?
GUILLERMO:  As far as I know, they have.  But who knows what’s going through Shonda’s mind.  It might come sneaking back.

Jeff Perry
What do you love about working on SCANDAL?
JEFF:  Knowing Shonda’s work with GREY’S ANATOMY and PRIVATE PRACTICE, I was thrilled when I read the pilot and I thought, “Okay, this is a political thriller that has a novelistic structure of a bunch of stories going on at the same time. She’s going to be great at this. I think she loves this.”  So that kind of revealed itself early, the structure of it.  But what kills us is that they are such professional surprisers, as a writing staff.  It felt like about 10 episodes ago, “You guys have probably shot your wad, right? There can’t be anymore surprises that have any credibility.”  And they keep cooking them up.  So it’s a thrill. I didn’t imagine that I would find television was as satisfying as theater, and this is.  There’s always something going on, a friction in the scenes.  It’s endlessly fun to play.

We just recently found out that from the creator of 1600 PENN that there’s an actual fake phone in the real White House outside the Situation Room that is used to prank visitors and new staff.  Is that something you would like to see incorporated into the SCANDAL storylines? Like Cyrus could totally prank somebody.
JEFF:  (Laughs) Is there really? Oh, that would fun. It’s filed. You need to tell that to Shonda. 

How soon will the show dig back up the storyline where Cyrus’ husband James has been sneaking around investigation of the election rigging?
JEFF: That is really eminent.  It will rear its ugly head again. You’ve seen that episode where Cyrus tells him, “I’m going to get fired, if you keep doing this” and he thinks he has gotten James off the hunt.  But that’s another lovely thing I love about the characters, Cyrus finds James incredibly sexy and loves him because James is a journalistic animal, like Cyrus is a political animal. He just won’t take “no” for an answer.  So part of Cyrus wants to just throttle him, and part of him is like, “I know he’s going to be like this and that’s why I fell in love with him, so I’ll just have to figure out how to head him off at the pass.”  

There’s so many layers to SCANDAL:  the stories, the characters, the emotional levels that they are playing on each other. It’s fascinating.
JEFF:  And you’re not asked to be a simple type.  Only a ruthless, strategizer.  Shonda encourages and writes characters that breathe. Cyrus really loves his husband; and he really loves the president.

Since we’ve now seen as of this last episode exactly how far entrenched in the conspiracy Cyrus has gone for the election-rigging, having to cover up Hollis’ blowing up of the lab that killed all those people and affected Quinn, where is the line for him?  What is Cyrus’ line?  How far will he go before he cuts the cord with Hollis?
JEFF:  (Laughs) I don’t know if the character knows the answer to that.  

So he’s kind of treading water politically and trying to figure out where he goes?
JEFF:  I think so.  Once you sort of commit to the premise of “I believe in this man.  I believe he can do really good things,” it is kind of based on a certain idealism and love.  But then it’s “by any means necessary,” and once you make that deal with the devil, how far do you go?  When you go a certain distance, you have to go more distance, just like in most criminal behavior.

SCANDAL airs Thursdays at 10PM on ABC (City in Canada). Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv.

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).