But who knew she went so far as to joke with her cast members about their fates on her shows? Well, Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie Grant on “Scandal,” told The Huffington Post during a Build Series interview on Tuesday that Rhimes once tricked Josh Malina (who plays David Rosen) into thinking he was a goner.
“Our table reads are so cold, they never tell us anything,” Young said, explaining that they read the final script for an episode the day before they start shooting it.
“Josh Malina always sits down, turns to the last page, and he’s like, ‘If I’m talking, I’m breathing,’’’ Young recalled. So Rhimes ― who wants the actors’ “honest reactions” to her intricate storylines during the table reads ― decided to play a trick on him, and she got the whole cast involved, too.
“She wrote us all an email, she’s like, ‘Do you think I’m a terrible person if I ...’ And we’re like, ‘You should totally do that.’ And she wrote a fake last scene that killed Josh,” Young explained. “But she didn’t think to put it in everybody’s script, so she only put it in Josh’s. So, he sat down and did his thing and you see his whole body drop. And he turned to Scott [Foley], who was next to him, and he’s like, ‘Man, I think I die.’ And Scott was like, ‘That’s rough, man.’ No compassion at all! And then I was on the other side of him and he grabbed my script and he looked in the back and it wasn’t in there and he knew it was a joke.”
In Rhimes’ defense, Young said, “Josh is the most relentless practical joker alive, so it was completely fair.” Still, it’s never a good feeling to always be on the edge of your seat.
“[My mom] is always afraid they’re kicking me off the show,” Young joked. “To a degree that it makes me afraid, like, she knows something. She’s like, ‘They’re not writing you off, are they?’ It makes me so worried, because she’s so worried. I’m like, ‘Don’t manifest that!’”
For now, Young will surely be sticking around as she’s set to run for president in the upcoming sixth season, which, she said, will be “explosive.” Hell yes!
“Scandal” returns on TGIT on ABC Jan. 19 at 9 p.m. ET.
Watch the full interview with Bellamy Young below: