Last week’s Scandal bait-and-switch that made a stalker out of Olivia’s handsome suitor Jake didn’t just take average viewers by surprise — it threw Scott Foley (a.k.a. the creeper’s portrayer) for a loop, too.
“When I read first script I was just as surprised as viewers were [about that ending],” recalls the actor, who was hand-picked for the role by Scandal creator (and his former Grey’s Anatomy boss) Shonda Rhimes. “I was like, ‘Oh, cute, they meet in a coffee shop. And there’s a coincidence that he happened to have employed a woman who was just found dead. And… oh my God — oh my God — he’s watching her!” I had no idea. I thought it was so cool.”
But why is he watching her? And is he acting alone? Read on for answers to both those questions and much more…
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TVLINE | Sounds like you knew very little about Jake going in.
Zero. Shonda sent me a text over New Year’s saying, “I’ve got a part for you. I really want you to do this. We’ve got to make it work.” I was just wrapping up The Goodwin Games — our order had been cut — and I was looking forward to pilot season. And then this came up and I sort of had a tough decision to make: Take myself out of pilot season and see where this leads, or roll the dice [on a new show]. So I called Shonda and said, “Hey, I’m interested. I like the show. My wife is a huge fan. Can you tell me about the character?” And she said, “Yes, I can tell you he’s a love interest for Liv.” And I was like, “OK, what else?” “We don’t know what else. We write everything the week before, but are you interested?” [Laughs] So I just had to trust Shonda.
TVLINE | What can you say about Jake’s motives?
Even though he’s watching her, I can tell you that someone has hired him to keep an eye on her and find out more about her. He’s not doing this of his own volition. But I think he’s crossing some lines by acting out and getting away from the monitors and bumping into her on purpose and meeting her one-on-one. I think he’s become very taken with her, in kind of like a stalkerish way. He was watching her and really liked something about her so he took it upon himself to step outside of those monitors and meet her in real-life. So i think that is probably taboo in terms of the professional side. I’m sure whoever hired him has no interest in him doing that, but he’s drawn to her.
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TVLINE | What kind of interaction do they have in this week’s episode?
They’re on a date. And he’s smitten and really looking to take this somewhere. And she is being very professional and fighting herself from letting any romantic things from taking place.
TVLINE | How long before we find out who his boss is?
Within the next couple of episodes the audience will know exactly who Jake is working for.
TVLINE | As you said, you took yourself out of pilot season for this role. Does that mean there’s a chance your arc could become more permanent?
There’s the possibility of permanence. Right now it’s just an arc. But Shonda and I have talked about something longer. I love this show, and I’d love to be there as long as they’ll have me.