Scandal's Darby Stanchfield on Abby Betraying Olivia: 'Something Is Going to Get Handled!'
Life has some basic rules. Don’t run with scissors. Don’t open milk on the “illegal” side. And don’t go behind Olivia Pope’s back. And yet that is precisely what Scandal‘s Abby has done, slipping bed buddy David Rosen intel that proves his adversary is out to torpedo his investigation into the Cytron bombing and its connection to Doyle Energy. As Season 2 of the ABC drama continues tonight at 10/9c, TVLine invited Darby Stanchfield to defend her do-right’s seemingly damning actions, as well as tease a perhaps “unexpected” ally.
TVLINE | What in the Sam Hill is Abby thinking?!
[Laughs] Everybody wants to know. Everybody’s like, “Huck is gonna come get you….”
TVLINE | You are so going to get handled.
Something‘s going to get handled, that’s for sure. Something gets handled in a big way in this episode.
TVLINE | What was your reaction when you first read that closing scene, where Olivia gets the dish on Abby?
Just about every episode I gasp at some point, and that was definitely one of those moments. “No way — she knows?!” It crossed my mind that I could be killed or I could be fired. It’s always entertaining.
TVLINE | What Abby is doing here, is it about any feelings she has for David and his “white hat” cause, or is this more about rebelling against Olivia, who has kind of been freezing her out?
I think it’s a combination of both. I don’t think that Abby is rebelling just for rebellion’s sake. She has a real moral compass, she has a real sense of wanting to dig for the truth — she and David have a lot in common that way, in that he’s trying to find out what’s happening. Abby also feels like she has no other option because she has approached Olivia, a couple of times, and Olivia shuts her out. That’s hurtful for Abby and it makes her feel completely isolated, but it also raises her suspicion of what’s really going on and why isn’t Olivia sharing it with me. I also think she has a genuine connection with David in terms of they’re having this great relationship which complicated things even more.
TVLINE | Abby did seem a bit adrift at the start of the season. Stephen’s gone, there’s this distance between her and Olivia, Harrison hears you out but never really goes to bat for you….
Well, one thing I can tell you is that Harrison really comes into play in this whole situation, and it’s really quite lovely what the Scandal writers and Shonda [Rhimes] have created in terms of the Harrison/Abby/Olivia dynamic. You get to see a lot more of him in the next few episodes, and it’s unexpected. You would expect someone like Columbus Short to be seen with his shirt off right away but it’s something totally different. That’s not to say that you won’t see him with his shirt off, but the way the writers use Harrison in the office politics is brilliant. None of us saw it coming. From all the theories I’ve seen on Twitter, nobody is expecting what’s going to come.
TVLINE | Does Abby realize that Olivia is onto her?
Abby has no idea she’s being taped, so… she definitely keeps digging! Her intent is to keep going. And theoretically, if Abby were to know, it wouldn’t even bother her, because Abby doesn’t mince words. It is interesting that Abby is finally in a situation where she is hiding something, because Abby hates secrets and she hates those who keep secrets. And here she is, finally doing something that strays from her moral compass. She’s actually got herself into some hot water.
TVLINE | How would you describe the heart of the whole Quinnspiracy, the thing that’s being covered up? If you’ve yet been made privy to the germ of it all.
It’s hard to describe it because it hasn’t even been fully defined or realized through the episodes we’ve shot. It’s something where, and I’ve said this before, you get crumbs and not a whole loaf. You get a bit more each episode, and it’s larger and deeper than anything you first imagined.
TVLINE | Yeah, it was originally spun as this “woman scorned” thing, where Lindsey Dwyer was mad at her boyfriend so she sent him a bomb. But it will turn out to be something not at all like that.
Mmm-hmm. I would say so. It’s something beyond that little scenario…. I know that I’m staying tuned to find out!
TVLINE | We reported the other day that there will be new flashbacks in Episode 11. Will we see Abby in any of that?
You will see a little bit of everybody, yes, and it’s lovely and really fun because you get more history on Olivia, obviously, but you also learn more about the relationships between these guys. The fans are going to love it because it only defines them and their connections further.
TVLINE | And lastly, paint us a visual picture of the Twitter parties the cast gets wrapped up in every Thursday night. Are you there huddled on set, tap-tap-tapping away?
Those of us that are working somehow find a way to live-tweet while they’re turning around or setting up a shot, or when going back to our trailers for a wardrobe change. And those of us that aren’t working that night, we just get on board with everybody.
TVLINE | Because the collective enthusiasm is pretty infectious.
Yeah! The whole cast really puts in their time, and that makes it even more fun for everybody.