Khandi Alexander Says “Scandal” Role Was So Secret, She Couldn’t Even Tell Her Man, And Explains Why She’s Team Mellie

November 22, 2013  |  


What are we thinking of Khandi Alexander in the role of Olivia Pope’s mother so far? She hasn’t been in too many scenes, but so far she’s grilled Rowan for being a terrible father, bitten through her own wrist at the expense of our late night snacks, and managed to escape from her prison-like confinements. Next episode, things will come to a head as she finally gets to reunite with Olivia, and I’m sure it will have everybody talking–as always. It’s clear that getting the chance to play Maya Lewis has been a very good look for the seasoned actress, and while speaking on the opportunity to E!, Alexander said that when she got the role, she couldn’t tell her manager, her agent or her man (so they found out when we did) because it was that top secret. Here’s what she had to say about that, her disappointment in wearing jumpsuits instead of Chanel, and why she’s Team Mellie, even though she plays Olivia Pope’s mother.

Getting The Top Secret Role Of Maya Lewis:

“The executive producer, Mark Wilding, called me and offered me the part. And he said, ‘The only thing I can tell you is that you’re Mama Pope and you can’t tell anybody anything. Do you want it or don’t you? Is it a yes or a no?’ I said, ‘I’m in and I won’t say anything.’ And I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell my agent, my manager, my boyfriend. I didn’t tell anybody and I didn’t know anything….They knew I was doing the show but they didn’t know anything about what I was playing.”

Her Thoughts On Fitz Shooting Down That Plane, Mellie, And Why She Loves Scott Foley:

“Actually, after the Mellie revelation [that Fitz’s father raped her], that was more powerful to me than shooting down the plane, because now that I know her backstory and what she sacrificed… It’s like, she can’t be with him. And aside from that, I love Scott Foley. I have always loved Scott Foley. I mean excuse me if I had the choice, hello! I mean, what’s the problem here?! Either or! Absolutely I’d take Scott Foley. And Tony, I’d take that, too.”

What She Thinks Of Dressing In Prison Garb Instead Of Designer Threads Like Olivia:

“Oh, you have no idea. Not only do they tell me nothing about what I’m doing other than I’m going to be Mama Pope, but I worked with Lyn Paolo, the stylist, on ER for 12 years. We were so excited to work together again and I just couldn’t wait. I had visions of Chanel in my head! And I showed up and she said, ‘OK, so what size jumpsuit do you want?’ And I said, ‘Wait, what? Excuse me?’ Because I had no idea what I was doing. I said, ‘No one’s told me anything! Is it a 70’s flashback?’ She said, ‘Nope, you’re gonna be in grey. What size do you want? Do you want to eat in this jumpsuit? I can give you a large.'”

She’s hilarious! Loved her on CSI and Treme and I’m loving her on Scandal! What do you think will come of Mama Pope as the season goes on? Will she help take down Rowan? Will she be behind some really foul stuff? Can’t wait to find out!

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