Joe Morton Q&A: ‘Scandal’
During our recent webcam chat, we asked Joe Morton to clear up once and for all whether he plays a good guy or a bad guy on ABC’s political thriller “Scandal.” Flashing a wry smile, the veteran actor heartily proclaimed that the nefarious Rowan Pope, father of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), is “the best guy in the world!”
As he went on to explain: “Generally speaking, most villains believe that what they do is going to make either the world, or their world, a better place to live in." Throughout the ups and downs of this past season of “Scandal,” his character has been at the center of the action.
Morton's character has gone from the mysterious Command at the helm of shady government organization B6-13 to the caring father making amends with his powerful but vulnerable daughter and from battling his ex-wife lunatic terrorist Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander), to fighting for his life after an almost fatal stabbing at the hands of his ex-spouse nemesis. Then there was the big reveal in the season finale where he showed his true colors as the master manipulator behind most of the events of the past season.
Was the actor privy to what showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her writers had in store for his character as the season progressed? In one word, no. “I was wonderfully in shock because I turned out to be the master manipulator! It’s great!”
As he revealed during our candid conversation: “We don’t know what’s going to happen from episode to episode until we sit down at the table read. So our responses, I’m going to imagine, are the same as the audience when they’re seeing it on TV. I mean, we’re screaming and hollering, covering our mouths, pointing to one another saying ‘I can’t believe that she wrote that’!”