It's no secret that the cast of Scandal gets along charmingly off-screen, but just how close they really are became apparent during a panel discussion last night with the entire group at the Paley Center for Media in New York City.
The sit-down came ahead of the jaw-dropping season finale, and was mediated by Good Morning America's Lara Spencer. Cast members (pictured above, L to R) Scott Foley (Jake Ballard), Portia de Rossi (Elizabeth North), Darby Stanchfield (Abby Whelan), Guillermo Diaz (Huck), Joe Morton (Rowan Pope), Joshua Malina (David Rosen), Jeff Perry (Cyrus Beene), Bellamy Young (Mellie Grant), Tony Goldwyn (President Fitzgerald Grant), and Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) were all present.
Here are 12 fun facts we learned about the Scandal cast straight from the actors themselves:
1. Kerry Washington is forever on "Team Olivia"
Forget "Team Fitz" or "Team Jake"—Olivia Pope needs to put herself first. "One of my favorite moments in this season is when Olivia said to Jake, 'I choose me,'" Washington said. "I don't think she can make a choice about who her partner is going to be until she works some stuff out."
2. Everyone wanted Mellie Grant to become Senator
"At first we made everyone believe Cyrus was so angry and so jealous of Mellie," Perry said. "But then within half an episode, he is proud that they're getting her elected."
3. They are proud that their show tackles real-life issues
"All of us feel a lot of pride to be a part of a show that fits all of these huge social issues into the fabric of our characters," de Rossi shared. "These are issues that naturally fold into our storylines, and it is done so beautifully."
4. They think the show's creator, Shonda Rimes, spies on them
They often get scripts mere hours (or minutes!) before they film them, but have no trouble memorizing their lines. "Shonda writes so well," Young said. "It's almost like you can read it, and your body soaks it in. We've all had the feeling that she's spying on us, she knows us so well."
5. Tony Goldwyn is a great director
"My mom was visiting once when Tony was directing and she got so angry with me and said 'Why do you treat him like that?'" Washington said. "But in all honesty he knows the show, and he's a really good director. It's nice to have one of our own direct us."
6. Kerry Washington is different from Olivia Pope in one major way
"Kerry really appreciates a good therapist," Washington laughed. "So that I can have healthy relationships. For Olivia, I think it's about privacy and not letting people know that she needs help.
7. They agree that Guillermo Diaz (Huck) is the least like his on-screen character
"He's not really at all like Huck—thank god! He's so cute and he's always smiling," Washington said. "One season he got us all a red tool box as a gift, and the inside was filled with candy," Stanchfield added. "That's an example of how different he is from Huck."
8. Scott Foley makes fart noises before every scene
Aside from being the most likely to break in an intense scene, he also likes to joke around before filming even begins. "He makes farting noises before ever scene," Washington said. "It doesn't matter if it's a love scene, a crying scene, a dancing scene—it doesn't matter."
9. Kerry Washington's favorite piece of clothing from the season is from the finale
"It's so hard to choose, I love all my outfits," Washington said. "But there is a jacket from the finale that I wore from The Limited x Scandal collection that is black and white with a really pretty peplum around the waist. It is one of my favorite looks of the whole season, and it has a special place in my heart because Lyn Paolo and I designed it."
10. Portia de Rossi watches every episode twice
"I was such a huge, geeky fan of the show," de Rossi said. "The tweeting takes me out of watching everyone do their incredible work on-screen—it's a bit frantic. I love being a part of the show, but I also miss watching the show. I try to watch every episode twice."
11. Scott Foley didn't realize he was filming Jake's near-death
"I thought, 'people get stabbed and come back.' When we first shot the scene he stabbed me once and I thought everything was going to be okay," Foley said. "But then we had to go back and reshoot it, and he just kept stabbing me. And I was looking around at the director waiting for him to tell him to stop. I actually sent Shonda an email afterwards asking her if there was anything she wanted to tell me, and she said 'I already killed you on one show, it's not going to happen again.'"
12. They don't know what's going to happen until an episode airs on TV
A lot of changes are made in the editing room between filming and the time that an episode airs. "We're sort of in your shoes," Washington shared. "We don't know what the finished product is going to be until it's on TV. By the time we all watch it, we're surprised."