Scandal is 2012's juiciest new drama, and after all the shocking twists on Season 1, Episode 6: "The Trail," we're dying to see the Season 1 finale (Episode 7: "Grant: For the People").
Fortunately Wetpaint Entertainment had the chance to chat with Tony Goldwyn, who plays conflicted President Fitzgerald Grant, and he dished about the finale, the Amanda situation, and why he's rooting for Fitz and Olivia.
Wetpaint Entertainment: When you read every script up until the flashback one, what was going through your mind about [Fitz's] relationship with Amanda and what is going on? You must have been as curious as we are at this point?
Yeah. And Shonda, she didn't know what she was going to do. I kept saying to her, did I or didn't I? You have to tell me. She'd say, I would, but I don't know yet. I haven't decided. And so finally, I think it was around episode, maybe five, I got an email from her saying, “Okay. I decided. This is what happened.” And so for me, basically, I just made a decision myself knowing that if I needed to kind of re-jigger my thinking, that's what I'd do. And I kind of had parallel story tracks in my head of whichever way it was going to go, but what Shonda ultimately decided was kind of what I suspected.
What do you make of his relationship with Olivia?
Just what he says, she's the love of his life. I think what's so interesting about Fitz is that in the pilot, you think, “Oh, golly, he turned out to be a sleazy president.” And it's not the case at all. He certainly has moral transgressions and makes a mess of things in his personal life, but he's in a very tough situation. He's in a really complicated marriage, which has its real issues. And he's fallen desperately in love with a colleague and can't handle it. But that's the driving force for Fitz, and he's denying himself and Olivia because he has to do deal with being an effective president and take care of his family too. Although I think that if he weren't the president, he would make that work. He'd figure it out because he's in love with her.
Here's the thing. We're rooting for the president to be with Olivia Pope, but then there's dead Amanda Tanner. Where does she fit in?
Well, you'll see. … In the finale, you find out everything of who Amanda is and what actually went down with her and Fitz.
Maybe I'm being silly about it — one, it's a TV show, and two, it's not like presidents don't have second wives — but Fitz and Olivia feels like the impossible dream.
I mean, it's true. I think that's right because the equation doesn't seem to work. It's like, I think that Fitz and Olivia … There's too much at stake, and both of them are very duty-bound people. They both are very committed to helping others and using their gifts to do that. And they can't do it and be conducting some illicit, tawdry affair. It's going to come out.Judy Smith, the person that Kerry’s character is based on, says that lies have a way of coming out eventually, somehow. So I think Fitz and Olivia both know that any contact between them is playing with fire, and they're going to have to make some sort of a choice. And the great thing is that they can't stay away from each other. They will not keep them apart. That's what great about what Shonda has concocted here really. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Do you have any favorite fictional presidents? Were you a Bartlett fan?
Well, yeah, you've got to admire Martin Sheen.
Michael Douglas played one once.
Oh, yeah. Michael Douglas. He was great. And then there was Dave. He was great.
Did you model your president after fictitious or real men?
No. He's a bit of a mish‑mosh.The ones I had in my mind were Clinton, Obama, and Kennedy kind of. Those were the three that kind of seemed to be most Fitz-like. I assume Fitz comes of out of some kind of Kennedy dream.
Does the season end on a cliffhanger?
It does, of course. Multiple cliffhangers, I would say.
Anything you can tease about the cliffhangers?
Well, let's see. I really don't dare because Shonda would then truly assassinate the president.
Tune in for the finale on Thursday, May 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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