If you never thought you’d see the day that President Mellie Grant would be running the country, you’re not alone.
During a visit to The Wendy Williams Show on Tuesday, Bellamy Young confirmed that Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes originally intended for the series to end with Mellie being sworn in as POTUS, which happened at the end of Season 6.
Young recalled, “We asked her at the beginning of the year. We went out to dinner and asked, ‘Is it ending like you always thought it would, or has anything changed?’ And she said that, no, it was going to end at the inauguration, so we got an extra year. It feels like such a gift from heaven.”
This firms up a notion Young first shared with TVLine last month, speculating that the series “was supposed to end with Fitz leaving office, but then the world changed, and I think [Rhimes] realized she has a few more things to say about racial injustice and gender politics and the state of our world as it is.”
Of course, Mellie’s presidency is just the latest in a long line of Scandal-ous surprises for Young, whose character had only “two lines in the pilot” back in 2012.
“I was supposed to be there maybe three episodes,” she recalled. “Shonda knew she wanted to write a presidential divorce, but then she realized that Mellie was a good lever between Olivia and Fitz.”
She added, “There are a lot of lady presidents on TV right now, but I feel very lucky to be a part of that wave. … I know how much it meant to me to see Dennis Haysbert every week get to be president [on 24], and I feel like it means that much to me to see all these fabulous ladies get to be president on TV.”
As for the mood on set, Young admitted, “We cry a lot. Every table read is so emotional. Every time we wrap an actor or a set, it’s like death by 1,000 goodbyes. It really is a family of love.”
Hit PLAY on Young’s interview above, then drop a comment with your hopes for the remaining episodes of Scandal below.