No Pregnancy For Pope? Kerry Washington Discusses The Challenges of Hiding Her Baby Bump On Set

April 19, 2014  |  

10.5 million viewers tuned in on Thursday to see what exactly was in store for Olivia Pope and President Fitz on the season three finale of Scandal. It didn’t disappoint, bringing all kinds of surprises, none of which were a pregnancy.

When actress Kerry Washington revealed that she and former football corner back husband Nnamdi Asomugha were expecting a child later this year, viewers anticipated exactly how the show would handle America’s favorite political fixer. Would Olivia Pope be saving the day with a baby bump in tow?

Washington reveals the decision to keep the character and actress’s life separate was completely creator Shonda Rhimes’s idea:

“The decision of whether or not a character would be on similar journey, I had nothing to do with that decision. I trust Shonda with all things. I feel very grateful that we have such an amazing team that was able to protect the character within the context of what the actress was going through.”

Washington reveals that this was her most difficult season yet as producers tried (and sometimes failed) to disguise her growing pregnancy including loose fitting shirts and coats, enormous desk chairs, coffee mugs, cast mates’ heads and let’s not forget more chairs (EOnline has a whole slideshow documenting the season’s sometimes desperate efforts). In fact, Season 3 was cut down by four episodes to accommodate the star’s pregnancy.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Washington talks about the physical and emotional challenges she experienced being torn between her personal life and her role:

“I work very physically as an actor. The biggest thing for me has been the challenge of how to be this person [Olivia Pope] with the personal transformation that’s going on for me physically and how to stay true to this character. That hasn’t been easy. It’s been an awesome challenge for me as an actor because so much of how I access character is through my body. It’s definitely been complicated to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about other ways to access Olivia and be her.”

She is quick to mention that concealing her pregnancy wasn’t just a credit to her incredible acting, but to the costume design team led by Lyn Paolo as well.

“I’m just grateful for how hard everybody has worked to maintain the authenticity of this character in this world.”

Although show creator Shonda Rhimes isn’t revealing any season 4 details yet, ABC is expected to renew the series for 2015.

Do you think producers did a decent job of keeping Washington’s baby bump backstage?

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