ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why do you think Abby initially said yes to these people? Was it just an attraction to power?
DARBY STANCHFIELD: Absolutely. It’s a very subtle surprise, it’s not a big “OMG” moment, but that probably is the deepest, most subtle surprise about Abby, the fact that she is seduced by money and power. It’s a moment of weakness for Abby — at least that’s the way I see it — in terms of her going for power. They’re tickling her ears, it’s quick and it’s easy. It’s not like she doesn’t have power. That’s what’s so fascinating about it. She’s the Chief of Staff. Fitz says early in the episode, “The possibilities for you are endless, there’s a lot you can do in this town.” So it’s not like she’s lacking possibilities. But it reveals a blindly ambitious moment for Abby.
Isn’t Abby smarter than this, though?
This is real talk: That was the hardest scene for me to shoot because that’s exactly how I feel. I really, really struggled with that question, like, “Come on! I don’t think Abby is presidential material. I play Abby and I don’t see this for Abby. So how do I find that? How do I agree to this?” Eventually, I realized that that turmoil, or that struggle, is in Abby. It’s not like Abby does anything without a struggle in this episode; everything is filled with tension — even her turning over the name of Jennifer Fields. She doesn’t say yes right away at that lunch. “Yeah, yeah, okay, this meeting was great, but you guys are kind of weird and I’m going to go,” but she has an emotional conversation with the president, she’s frustrated, and all of a sudden, it looks good. It just goes to show you that it is a moment of weakness, so it’s a moment of her being blind. The struggle of that for me, I just used it for Abby’s struggle in terms of she’s just in a lot of turmoil. As soon as she says yes, everything goes wrong. So it was just a good parallel.
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THE TRUTH IS REVEALED, BUT AT WHAT COST? ON ABC’S ‘SCANDAL’
“Dead in the Water” – It’s a race against the clock when Olivia and OPA’s investigation into the conspiracy puts one of their own in grave danger, on “Scandal,” airing THURSDAY, APRIL 6 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.
“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beene, Joshua Malina as David Rosen, Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant, Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, Portia De Rossi as Elizabeth North, Joe Morton as Rowan Pope and Cornelius Smith Jr. as Marcus Walker.
Guest starring TBA.
“Scandal” was created by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder”). Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), Mark Fish and Tom Verica are executive producers. “Scandal” is produced by ABC Studios.
“Dead in the Water” was written by Michelle Lirtzman and directed by Nicole Rubio.