Scandal Casts Khandi Alexander as Olivia's Mom

Khandi-Alexander-ScandalScandal‘s about to have a “Whoa, mama!” moment.

Khandi Alexander (Treme, CSI: Miami) has been cast in the recurring role of Maya Lewis, late mother of Kerry Washington‘s Olivia Pope, and will start appearing in flashbacks beginning with this Thursday’s episode (10/9c on ABC), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Alexander currently stars in HBO’s Treme, which kicks off an abbreviated fourth and final season Dec. 1 on HBO.

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Last week’s Scandal included a doozy of a plot twist involving the character Alexander will play. (Click here for our recap if you don’t mind getting spoiled.)

Excited about Alexander joining Scandal? Looking forward to flashbacks of Liv and her mom? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Carm says:

    Awesome! Love it!

  2. Mark says:

    Seems like a spoiler. This woman is pretty old so why would she be casted as just for flashbacks.

    • tp says:

      While our definitions of old definitely differ, I agree. She’s the wrong age to play Liv’s mom in flashbacks.

    • Larc says:

      My guess is it’s not just for flashbacks, especially since her role will be recurring. I think it means Olivia’s mother is still alive.

    • SJ says:

      She’s only 20 years older than Washington. If she were any younger it would have been a teenage mother if she’s playing her mom now.

      • GTS says:

        I’m not sure you get it. It’s only confirmed to be for flashbacks. I forget when they said she died, but if in the flashback Olivia is 8, the mom could be 40, played by an actress currently 49 or so. Now having a 55 year old play an 8 year old’s mother? That doesn’t make sense. Besides, they can play with the characters ages at certain time points.

  3. Alichat says:

    Interesting…..and impressive that they held onto this casting announcement for as long as they did.

  4. TvPeong says:

    Yay Khandi!! I can’t wait to learn her story

  5. Steven says:

    I loved Khandi in Newsradio! I can’t believe she’s old enough to play Kerry Washington’s mother. Great casting.

  6. lmjo says:

    Until earlier this year, I had only seen Khandi in CSI: Miami. (And that’s not really a fair showcase of talent because that was such a cheese ball show). Then, earlier this March, I started watching the first few seasons of ER, and Khandi blew me away. She was only a supporting character, but some of her performances were just gripping. So, despite the age factor, I think she’s a good ‘get’ for Scandal.

  7. Mik says:

    Great choice! Alexander is an amazing actress! No way Olivia’s mom is dead! Sure, she’ll appear in flashbacks, but I doubt that’s all we’re going to see her in.

  8. Mackenzie says:

    I love Khandi Alexander and am thrilled to see her get a high profile role like this.

    If it turns out Liv’s mom is alive, though, we’re veering awfully close to ALIAS territory here.

  9. Tony says:

    Its not like hair and makeup can’t do things to make her look a bit younger in flashbacks.

  10. Justine says:

    SO HAPPY about this casting choice! I feel like the recent episode where the mother with the bomb tries to clear her son’s name has something to do with Olivia’s mom. Like maybe they had to fake her death so she could continue doing her undercover work without compromising her family’s safety. I remember reading that Shonda was working on an Alias-like show, maybe instead of that she built this storyline into Scandal? Either way, EXCITING times ahead :)

  11. Kyle C. says:

    Kerry is 36 and Khandi is 56. So if she’s still alive she could’ve have had Olivia at 20. If she’s not alive, Khandi still looks younger for her age. Great casting.

    • tp says:

      In the current time lime I agree, she’s perfect for her mom. I am hoping that it is a case of “I knew he was going to try to kill me” and she’s alive.

  12. KND says:

    This may be the best thing I’ve heard all day!!!!

  13. GeoDiva says:

    No way she is on just for flashbacks. She will arise from the grave before the season ends.

  14. nguber says:

    Reblogged this on iwatch2much and commented:
    Oh snap. Loveee Khandi Alexander. I can see why they cast her.

  15. Scandalfan23 says:

    Great casting choice SCANDAL! Can’t wait :)

  16. Jules says:

    She wasn’t even on any of the commenter’s radars so it’s a surprise. Not that we have any say haha! Most people guessed Phylicia Rashad or Lynn Whitfield. I would’ve never thought of Khandi Alexander for this but she’s the perfect choice. Can’t wait to see it this week!!

  17. Joe says:

    She’s def alive, “thought to be dead” parents/children/siblings are rarely dead in TV land.

  18. Bran says:

    Khandi will make it work but I was rooting for Lynn Whitfield. Can’t wait to watch either way!

  19. Maya Lewis is alive, I have a feeling that Fitz may have been assigned to shot down the plane but I think he helped Olivia’s mom get away.

  20. Ayannali says:

    I guess she was cast a bit ago if the flshback episodes are starting Thursday (tomorrow).
    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode

  21. LaLa says:

    I was also an advocate for Lynn Whitfield, but Khandi Alexander definitely is full of sass. I think she will handle this role well, and I am looking forward to seeing her in it.

  22. Joanna Dyer says:

    Frankly, I am expending so much mental energy on worry about Jake’s on-going well-being that Mom-casting flew over my head.
    Hooray for Khandi though. Meanwhile, it is All Jake with me and my Worry Beads.

  23. Khandi Alexander! Great casting. Khandi deserves this part and you think the ratings are upnoow——well just you wait!!!! Khandi is GREAT!!!