What's Next For 'Scandal?'
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The characters on ABC's Scandal are constantly juggling multiple life or death decisions and putting out raging fires without ever breaking a sweat. That work ethic is not lost on Dan Bucatinsky, who plays the reporter turned stay-at-home dad James Novak.
In addition to working on Scandal, Bucatinsky is a consulting producer on Grey's Anatomy, an executive producer of Web Therapy (he also co-stars) and Who Do You Think You Are, a newly published author and an equally new dad.
Needless to say, his time is just as precious as Olivia Pope's and Bucatinsky recently carved some out to chat with ETonline about tonight's shocking Scandal and what it was like to stage network TV's first all-male nude screaming matching.
ETonline: Twitter lit up last week during James and Cyrus' naked argument. What went through your mind as you read that script for the first time?
Dan Bucatinsky: You know, we were actually given that script literally seconds before the table read, so we were all going through that episode without knowing anything that happened. Shonda [Rhimes, creator] wrote that scene and she's really proud of it -- she didn't cut a word of it through all the drafts that episode went through. She has told many that it's the favorite scene she's written in her career. I feel so honored to have been a part of that, but I was scares sh*tless to film it. So not only was it horrifying slash exciting slash ... horrifying to find out we'd have to be arguing naked, but I can't believe how close my character came to death! I really thought I was going to take a bullet in that episode.
ETonline: Do you think Cyrus could have ever forgiven himself if he actually went through with it?
Bucatinsky: I don't know. I think people have come to really love that couple. I think we're among the few "normal" stable marriages on TV. Cyrus and James actually have a marriage based on love. Yes, they'd go to extreme lengths to fulfill their ambitions -- and we already know what Cyrus is capable of. I love that this show is constantly questioning and pushing the boundaries about how a person can be ethically challenged while fighting for what they believe in. It's caused a lot of interesting debate. How do you wrap your brain around all these characters being felons?
ETonline: On that tip, when do you think James decided to perjure himself?
Bucatinsky: That was actually a big debate on set. When James walks in the building, is he walking in there to testify or does he plan on lying? In the script there was an additional line that got cut where I'm talking to the grand jury about being a dad and he makes eye contact with one woman -- it's like this parent-to-parent connection. To me, in that moment; the overwhelming drive to protect his family, to protect his daughter, to not send his husband to jail was what motivated the lie.