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Scandal - ATX Television Festival (June 6-9, 2013) Panel
Some highlights from the panel courtesy of SmallScreenScoop.com:
  • Tom Verica said that there is screaming at every table read. Josh Malina grabs his script and reads the last page to make sure his character is still alive. For the finale, the writers wrote Malina a separate ending where his character dies to get back at him since he pranks everyone on set.
  • When David Rosen started spending time at OPA,  Josh Malina told us Kerry Washington thought something was off and didn’t feel right with David being there.
  • Once it was revealed David was helping the mole, Malina got attacked on twitter and loved it. He wished his villainy lasted longer than a week, as he loved being hated. Also, Malina said that he wants his character to have a past because he’s not in the flashback episodes.
  • The scene where James and Cyrus get naked and fight, the cast affectionately called the “naked smackdown,” said Bucatinsky. The cast sold tickets to the crew so they could watch filming.
  • On the James and Cyrus relationship, Bucatinsky said he likes the layers to it, and that the homosexuality is not the thing people notice first. Their relationship is so much more than that. Bucatinksy also said he wants more character development, wants James to survive and to continue having a career and being a dad.
  • In the finale, when Quinn had to drill into Billy’s leg, Lowes said she only got one or two takes because they didn’t have time to redo her hair and makeup every time. Right before they shot the scene, Lowes wasn’t sure if her character would have been into it, but as soon as she started drilling she’s said “yeah, Quinn’s into this.”
  • Josh Malina, a long time Aaron Sorkin player, was asked about Sorkin and Rhimes’ way of speaking and how different they were. Malina joked that in Shondaland you get to have sex and her world’s a bit racier. But both writers are so good and write such dialogue-heavy scripts that as long as you say the words in the right order you look like a good actor.
  • Continuing the conversation on “Scandal speak,” Lowes remarked that it really sets the bar for other shows.
  • Tom Verica said that when bringing in guest stars, they have to make sure the actors can speak fast and keep up. He also said that the average script is 70-80 pages, whereas a normal script is usually around 53 pages. And they only have 9 days to film each episode.
  • A fan asked about the cast chemistry and how long it took to get that established, and all the actors said it was pretty immediate early on. They shot the pilot in three and a half weeks and all at night. That time helped them get close, and it’s been that way ever since.
  • When asked about their favorite moments, they all agreed on “Seven Fifty-Two” and the President getting shot, while Lowes and Bucatinksy especially enjoyed the Defiance episode “Truth or Consequence.” Lowes because she got to work alongside her real-life husband Adam Shapiro (who was in the audience), and Bucatinsky because he got a juicy storyline and uncovered the truth about Defiance.
  • Finally, when asked about dream guest stars, Malina and Bucatinksy said that both Allison Janney and Lisa Kudrow are huge fans, but Kudrow would never like to guest star because she’s afraid she couldn’t talk that fast.