Scandal’s Scott Foley Won’t Tell Us If Jake Is Dead (But He Will Talk Felicity Reunion)
As oft-shirtless assassin Jake Ballard, Scott Foley has indulged in his share of scandalous behavior, from spying on sometime-girlfriend Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) to committing murder. But he’s also worn the white hat on Scandal as he works with Olivia, her band of gladiators, and attorney general David Rosen (Josh Malina) to take down the nefarious black-ops agency B613–a mission that led to a particularly bloody twist at the end of last week’s episode. Fans erupted after the brutal stabbing, and the star’s cryptic tweets aren’t quelling their fears that Jake is left for dead. While we wait for Thursday’s episode to find out, the former Felicity star, who’s married to actress Marika Dominczyk, tells us about the perils of working on Shonda Rhimes’s unpredictable hit, why Jake just can’t quit Olivia, and the reason he’d never, ever want to play Noel Crane again.
Taking down B613 is turning out to be dangerous business. Is anyone safe?
Every single person who’s dealing with B613 is in grave danger. Shonda loves [the actors], but we’re like pawns on this chessboard, and she’s playing a masterful game. As an audience member, you never know who’s safe, and as a cast member, you never know if you’re safe. I put my three kids to bed every night thinking, “Man, thank God I’ve got this job. I hope I have it tomorrow.”
She wouldn’t really kill off Jake, would she? Who would she write all those shirtless scenes for?
Tony Goldwyn [who plays President Fitzgerald Grant]! Or, have you seen Olivia’s new love interest, Russell [Brian White]? He could take his shirt off all day long and I’d watch.
Have you gotten used to never knowing what kind of curveballs Shonda is going to throw at you?
No! [Laughs] But there’s a certain amount of excitement to not knowing what’s going to happen. And not just episode to episode. When we sit down at a table read, we all have to open the script at the same time. I can’t skim through and look at the last page. Shonda’s very strict.
What would happen if somebody did?
Josh Malina used to be known for sneaking a glance at the last page every time, and at the final table read last season, Shonda made a fake script for him. On the last page it said, “David bleeds out from this wound to his neck.” I was sitting next to him, and he turned to me and said, “I die at the end.” There was this moment of pure terror on his face. That’s what Shonda will do to you.
When you joined the show in Season 2, fans weren’t happy that Jake was coming between Olivia and Fitz. Do you feel as if you’ve finally won them over?
There’s a certain very dedicated segment of viewers who believe Fitz and Olivia should be together and that that’s what the show is about. Unfortunately, they’re never going to have their minds changed. I now have some just-as-vocal proponents, though, so I’m pleased with the ratio of Jake-haters and Jake-likers.
Why do you think Jake continues to wait around for Olivia when he could surely find another woman?
I think Jake’s found a lot of other women in the past. But when he found Olivia, he just knew. I met my wife and I just knew. And I think Jake [has decided] he’ll be patient and wait until Olivia knows, too.
A lot of classic TV series have been or are being resurrected, from Arrested Development on Netflix to The X-Files on Fox. Would you want to see Felicity revived?
Never. And I’ll tell you why: What made the show special was the age of the characters and the time they were living [through]–college, the unknown, trying to find yourself. You couldn’t do that again with those particular characters.
What about reuniting the cast on, say, The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon the way the cast of Saved by the Bell did?
That I’d love to do! I saw Scott Speedman [who played Felicity‘s Ben Covington] for the first time in years at a pre-Oscar party. He came over and I gave him a big hug and it was, “Hey, how are you doing? I miss you. Are you good?” Scotty and I are such different people–as different as Noel and Ben were–but we have such great respect for each other. So I’d love to get everybody back together again [for a] sit-down.
The Scandal cast is famous for live-tweeting the show with fans every Thursday. How do you manage to do that with three young kids at home?
I piss my wife off–that’s how. [Laughs] Look, I’m really lucky. I have a 5-year-old daughter, an almost-3-year-old son, and a 4-month-old son. It’s chaotic. Between diapers, poop, cereal, princesses, and Superman capes, my house is crazy. So coming to work and killing people is sort of my therapy.
Scandal, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC