For her first time directing an episode of network television, all Darby Stanchfield really wanted was a good script with a great ending — and she got them both.
“I literally, physically jumped up and down when I read it,” she tells TVLine of tonight’s Scandal (ABC, 10/9c). “I was like, ‘I’m so glad I get an ending like this!’ I immediately started fantasizing about what we could do with the ending. We really took time to explore different reactions that Olivia might have to a very juicy request.” (Oh, did you think we would reveal what that ending is? Come on, now.)
Stanchfield first showed an interest in directing a few seasons ago, and after shadowing several directors, was given the opportunity to direct Scandal: Gladiators Wanted, a web series that debuted ahead of Season 6, which she says is a testament to the “incredible” women of Shondaland. “They know that those opportunities need to be given, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. That’s very rare in this town, and that’s not lost on me.”
“If it weren’t for this incredibly supportive company — and I don’t mean just the actors, but the producers on down to every single crew member — I might have felt a little unnerved,” she adds. “It also helps that I know the show inside and out, so I didn’t have to do a lot of prep work in terms of researching the show and getting to know the characters. They’re already written upon my heart.”
Aside from the ending, Stanchfield refers to two moments she’s particularly excited for fans to see, one of which involves Jake and Charlie is a confined space. “It’s such a juicy scene,” she says, “very character-driven. The stakes don’t get any higher, and you’ll really feel for both of them so much.”
The other is a treat for those who have watched Scandal from the very beginning. “Olivia and Quinn have a very special scene, and you might also see the White Hat, which has become a character of its own on that show. Original Gladiators are really going to enjoy what transpires in that scene.”
Hit PLAY on the preview video below, then drop a comment with your hopes for tonight’s Scandal.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 28, 2018