‘Scandal’: Katie Lowes on Quinn’s ‘Bad-Assery’ and What’s Coming Next

Spoiler Alert
ABC/Eric McCandless
Katie Lowes in Scandal.

[Spoiler Alert: Gladiators! Only read ahead if you’ve watched this week’s episode of Scandal. Major spoilers ahead!]

Olivia is no longer Olivia, said Quinn (Katie Lowes) in Thursday’s episode of Scandal. But, given the events of the past few episodes—and the fact that we were led to believe that Quinn was dead—is Quinn still Quinn?

That’s just one of the questions that came up in tonight’s episode, as a very pregnant Quinn was revealed to have been kidnapped by Olivia’s father, Rowan (Joe Morton). And while Quinn tried to get away, even attempting to kill Rowan at one point (and he returned the favor by pointing a gun at her), what transpired between the two of them was unexpected to say the least.

Who better to explain what we saw than Lowes herself? Plus, she weighs in on if the relationship between Quinn and Olivia (Kerry Washington) can be repaired, and teases what’s to come in the rest of the final Scandal season. Hold on, Gladiators!

This was such a big episode for you! Quinn goes through so much physically and emotionally—did you shoot it before or after you gave birth in real life?

Katie Lowes: At the table read I was like, “Holy moly.” I think I shot it like two-and-a-half weeks before I had him. I just watched the episode last night and I was like, “Holy mackerel. I was very pregnant. Just very, very, very pregnant!” It was an incredible experience. I was very thankful for it because I was glad to not be at home just thinking about my own pregnancy and when it was going to happen and how uncomfortable you are when you’re that pregnant.

The day that Quinn gave birth there was an OB on set making sure I did everything correctly and safely. There were PAs assigned to me to get water and change my shoes and feed me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. [laughs] It was almost better to be at work than it was at home, because I was so taken care of.

The big question I had from this episode is how Quinn feels about Olivia at this point. Can they repair their relationship?

I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. I’m only a few episodes ahead of you now shooting. I don’t even know what the end is like. Me being such an optimist and a glass half-full person, I would like to think that these two characters can find their friendship again. But after I saw the episode last night, I mean, that is not something a friend does to another friend, to use them like this pawn.

And I could hear what she was saying, that the Republic was more important than Quinn’s life and her baby’s life. It would be bad if she was killing her dear, dear friend. It’s really bad that she’s killing her super-pregnant friend! So, no. I don’t think so. I really don’t think so, and that’s how I feel.

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on ‘Scandal’

There’s some dialogue in the episode where Quinn says Olivia isn’t even Olivia anymore. Do you think Quinn is still Quinn at this point?

I think she is. That’s what I think is so cool about playing Quinn. I think being a mom and running QPA and having QPA still be just as much a a priority in her life. I just was so honored to be able to play a character that was a working, strong, pregnant woman on television. It was super exciting to me.

I was glad that Shonda gave me that opportunity. I feel like she’s more Quinn than ever. I think she’s just Quinning all over the place. I just think that to watch her, at nine-and-a-half months pregnant, try to choke Rowan out with a chain. Whoa! Quinn has reached a whole other level of bad-assery. I just think she’s more Quinn than ever.

Hashtag Quinning.

Mm-hmm. Hashtag Quinning.

Speaking of Rowan, I was not expecting the two of them to become kinda sorta allies. How would you describe that relationship by the end of the episode?

I was so excited about it because I really have not had much chance to work with Joe Morton. So when we got this, I was stoked. I’m such a fan of his. When I watched it last night I was like, “Oh.” I just really got that B613 feeling. Even though Papa Pope is the scariest, and I don’t think Quinn could ever trust him. I don’t know if anyone could ever trust him.

But I think, at the end, they come to some sort of quiet agreement that they are in this together. They have a common issue with Olivia Pope and they’ve both chosen to put a mother and baby first, before anything. They have a lot in common right now. I would say that they are more allies than enemies, at this point.

Joe Morton as Rowan on ‘Scandal’

How did you feel about wearing that wedding dress for so long in the episode?

I hated it. What I was most excited about was being able to wear the sweatpants and t-shirts from Target that Papa Pope ran out and bought for Quinn because that was super, super comfortable. Also, I didn’t have to wear a lot of makeup in this episode, which is also very much appreciated. Because when you’re 38 and pregnant, you really just want to be the most comfortable you can be. I’ll be tweeting some photos later but I was sitting most of the time in a zero gravity chair, which I bought on Amazon and had delivered to set. It’s basically a lounge chair because I had to get my feet up higher than my heart in between takes, because my feet were so swollen from standing a bunch of hours. It was a super sexy episode. Super sexy for Quinn. [laughs]

I was not excited about the wedding dress but, I don’t know, there was something so dramatically cool about getting abducted and thrown in a bunker when you’re super pregnant in a wedding dress. And I was like, “Oh, man. Shonda is just letting me play! She is just letting me really have a real field day with this girl’s worst day of her life!”

It was very Scandal, that’s for sure! Looking ahead, what’s one word to describe the next episode or what’s coming next.

Fun. Maybe the most fun thing I’ve ever gotten to do on Scandal is coming up next. This is something no one’s ever done this on the show. It’s so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so fun, and when you see it, you’ll know what it is. And my real life son was there for a lot of it so that was awesome.

Scandal, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC.