What?! Mellie Grant Wasn’t Meant To Be A Recurring Character On ‘Scandal,’ Says Actress Bellamy Young
As a self-proclaimed gladiator and die-hard Scandal fan, it’s hard to envision what the show would be like without the show’s resident cut-throat, First Lady Mellie Grant. But during a recent interview with Wendy Williams, actress Bellamy Young revealed that Mellie was originally supposed to be written out of the political thriller’s script.
“I had two lines in the pilot! One of them was like, ‘Livvvvvvvv!’ Like literally, I had nothing to do, but I was so thankful to be there,” she giddily told Wendy.
The Broadway actress went on to say that she was really disappointed when she initially learned Mellie would only be around for a few episodes.
“The first table read I got dressed up, I was so happy and Shonda was kind of going around telling everyone what their arc would be, because we just did seven episodes that first season. And she got to me and said, ‘So you’re going to be here three episodes,’ and she’s continuing to talk and I’m trying to smile, but I’m dying inside. And I hear her say something about presidential divorce.”
Thankfully, the writers changed their minds!
“Bless them, they found Mellie to be a sort of fulcrum in the story and they started writing it and it’s been unbelievable! It’s my first time as a regular, I couldn’t be any luckier,” the 43-year-old North Carolina native gushed.
Since Bellamy seems way too bubbly to be anything like her manipulative character, Mellie, it’s no shock that she’s sometimes blown away by some of the crooked things that Scandal’s First Lady gets away with.
“There’s been a lot. I mean, when you induce a baby to manipulate a human, that’s kind of big. But I think for me, following through on the threat to give the interview about his (Fitz’s) affair was big. I mean, you just don’t do that. That’s something you just hold over someone’s head for twenty years. But Mellie is like a ride or die kind of girl.”
As for the fact that most of America is rooting for the mistress in the storyline, Bellamy says that this truly speaks to Shonda’s talent as a producer.
“I make of it, Shonda’s genius. She started this story, sort of in a pinhole. And you were just looking at their love and their relationship. And you’re like, ‘Oh God, yes, I feel that. I feel that. I want that for them,’ and then she slowly pulled back and you got the context. And you’re like, ‘Oh, oh, I’m pulling for adultery. Who does that make me? But her kind of storytelling, she lets the characters be so messy. It let’s you examine you, because you find out what you pull for and who you pull for,” said Bellamy.
Watch Bellamy’s interview on the next page. Thoughts?