Kerry Washington Kerry Washington

What we love about ABC's Scandal, ABC's sexy thriller about a Washington, D.C., fixer, is that each week the show gets twistier, darker and more deliciously devious. On Tuesday, the first season DVD set arrives so fans can revisit and newbies can dip into the fun. Kerry Washington, who stars as crisis manager Olivia Pope, gives us some scoop.

TV Guide Magazine: Why should everyone — Scandal's fans, aka Gladiators, as well as neophytes — buy the seven-episode DVD set?
Kerry Washington:
If you haven't seen it, you have to buy it to catch up before the second season because we are going to up the ante on the show and you want to meet these characters and get some of the back story so you can be on the ride with us from the beginning. If you've already seen it, it's great to go back and look for the clues that reveal what happens in the final two episodes. Why not have a viewing party so you can really catch up and remember all the twists and turns so that you know what we're up against and what holes we have to fill in Season 2. Then there's the special features! Even if you the entire show recorded, even if you've bought it on iTunes, you should get the DVD because of the cool behind the scenes stuff.

TV Guide Magazine: Let's start with the clues: What are a couple to check back on?
Kerry Washington: For me, it was fun to watch episodes one and two because you already begin to see cues stick out. There's a wonderful moment with Olivia in Huck's [Guillermo Diaz] office when she says, "I just need one minute." Two episodes later, you learn how significant that minute is for her relationship with the President [Tony Goldwyn]. And then at the big State Dinner when [VP chief of staff] Billy Chambers [Matt Letscher] dances with Olivia, you can see how icky and intrusive he is and see that he has ulterior motives.

TV Guide Magazine: Maybe we'll spot some clues about who Quinn Perkins [Katie Lowes] really is.
Kerry Washington: You can remind yourself of all the unanswered questions. It's not just who is Quinn Perkins but what's next with the President's culpable chief of staff Cyrus [Jeff Perry]? What's happened with Billy? Is there a dead body somewhere in Washington?

TV Guide Magazine: What are some game changers to look out for?
Kerry Washington: When the body of the murdered [intern] Amanda Tanner [Liza Weil] is removed from Olivia's apartment and she says, "We are going to war with the White House!" Also the reveal of what's in [former CIA spook] Huck's closet. That shocked us as much as you. I was like 'Whoa!"

TV Guide Magazine: Let's get back to those special features you're so high on.
Kerry Washington: One is about what we call Scandal pace. It's tough to do but I love the fast talking. Judy Smith, the crisis manager my character is based on, says the pace of the work is so crazy because you used to have to take care of a story before it broke the next morning. Now you have to handle things before it breaks on a blog or on some website 15 minutes from now.

TV Guide Magazine: Who can do the dialogue the fastest?
Kerry Washington: Katie is the fastest talker hands down.

TV Guide Magazine: Any other extras?
Kerry Washington: One of the most fun is footage from our auditions. It's so exciting to watch all of us in those moments where we just dreamed of the possibility of being these characters. I won't spoil it, but Katie has a particularly endearing audition moment that just fills my heart ever time I've seen it.

TV Guide Magazine: Were you nervous about your audition being out there?
Kerry Washington: I was! I told them, "Nah, I don't want to do that, because auditions are so raw." But now I actually think maybe it's fun for actors and people who are not in the business to see what [a character] looks like before it becomes a finished product.

TV Guide Magazine: So Shonda Rhimes didn't write the role for you?
Kerry Washington: Not at all. We'd never met before actually, which is a little bit strange for two black women in Hollywood. [Laughs] Olivia Pope is a tremendous character, so I feel really blessed.

TV Guide Magazine: Were you optimistic about a second season?
Kerry Washington: I'm very aware that we only are having a second season because our fans have been so supportive and so vocal and have tuned in and DVRed and told their friends and you know, we are overjoyed to be able to go back for our fans.

TV Guide Magazine: What can you tell us about next season?
Kerry Washington: Olivia's personal life will get more complicated. The President's still going to be around for one thing. Some people want Olivia to get together with David Rosen, the U.S. Attorney [Josh Malina, now a regular], but I think they have more of an intellectual than a sexual chemistry. I'm dying to read the scripts for next season. And yes I really want to know who Quinn is!

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