As you might have heard, some pretty unseemly characters are currently seizing control of our nation’s capital, so TVLine got the White House press secretary on the line to answer a few of our questions.
Sorry, I should have clarified — I’m talking about the fictionalized Washington we’re seeing on ABC’s Scandal (Thursdays, 9/8c), making Marcus Walker the press secretary in question. And speaking of Cornelius Smith Jr.‘s character, how the heck did he land that high-profile gig in the first place?
“We’ll get bits and pieces about how that came to be,” the actor tells us of the story gaps created by the season-opening time jump. “We’ll see how things transpired and how Marcus got to be there.”
Of course, Marcus’ new position was one of many surprises in last week’s premiere — let’s not forget that the president-elect was assassinated — resulting in what Smith calls a season of “excitement, but also uncertainty.”
“I was shocked,” he admits. “No one had told me anything beforehand, so I discovered it all at the table read. … All I know is that Marcus isn’t really taking part in [the efforts to prove that Cyrus killed Frankie]. I’m not in OPA anymore. My job now is to help run the White House.”
Though Smith admits that he misses being one of Olivia Pope’s gladiators, more time in the White House does mean more time with Mellie. And like many fans, Smith says he’s still “curious” about what the future has in store for those two.
“I was shocked when I first read about their initial spark, where they first kind of suggested it in the script,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Wow! Oh. OK!’ The interesting thing about Shondaland is that a lot of relationships start quickly, but they also stop quickly. You never know if it’s going to last. There’s a natural curiosity about how far it’s going to go — if it goes anywhere at all.”
Scandal fans, were you surprised by Marcus’ sudden promotion? Are you hoping for more “sparks” between him and Mellie? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.