Hollywood may be otherwise known as Tinseltown, but for some of TV’s most celebrated actors, Saturday was a journey into Shondaland.
Stars packed into L.A.’s Gracias Madre restaurant not just to raise a glass to the return of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder lineup, but also to pay tribute Shonda Rhimes (above, center), the creator, producer, writer, and untouchable executive behind all of these hit dramas at People, Entertainment Weekly, and Essence’s Shondaland #TGIT party.
Dressed in a darling black and white floral dress, Rhimes, who also just penned the new book Year of Yes (in stores Nov. 10), reveled with recent Emmy winner Viola Davis (above, left). The Murder star is still rejoicing with her new trophy. “It’s been awesome. I’m always the girl who lost the Miss Central Falls Recreation Contest,” she told InStyle. "I never made the cheerleading team. And now, I felt like I won a beauty pageant. I don’t know what it is, it’s very strange."
Yes, the award-winning actress dazzled, but she wasn’t the only one in attendance. Ellen Pompeo (above, right), Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Portia de Rossi, Darby Stanchfield, and an army of regular TV favorites were among the star-studded mix. Scandal star Goldwyn expressed his adoration for Rhimes. “Honestly, I trust in Shonda,” he said. “She always surprises me. And I often feel like, well, she’s a lot smarter than I am … she’s such a bold storyteller.”
Scandal’s Young described her own character, Mellie, as a “fighter,” while Murder’s Charlie Weber explained why he appreciates Davis’s humility. “I wish that every actor could see how she is, someone of that magnitude and of that talent, be the way she is. It’s a very big lesson learned,” he added. And while the evening called for red carpet ensembles and a late night out, there’s just one place where all the guests will be found come Thursday: home.
—With reporting by Carita Rizzo
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