TV Weekly interview: Catching up with Scandal's hunk, Scott Foley

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27 March 2015

ABC, Thursdays, 9:00 PM ET
By Jacqueline Cutler

Scott Foley has a drink in his right hand and a gaggle of starstruck Australian journalists cooing over him at an ABC party.

Foley, 42, patiently poses for phone photos that were probably on Facebook before he takes his next sip. A veteran of popular shows, Foley has picked wisely in his career, from “Dawson’s Creek,” “Felicity” and “Scrubs,” to “Cougar Town,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and the dashing Jake Ballard on “Scandal” (Thursdays on ABC). In this role, Foley has had a chance to be the brave guy, the lover and the killer.

“Shonda Rhimes has a great way of taking characters from top to bottom and bottom to top,” Foley says. “Jake seemed like an old man. He falls in love with Olivia, breaks her heart, and falls in love again. He goes from follower to leader. He’s in a much more mature place now than he was before.”

Despite his impressive resumé, none of the hit shows Foley has been on have been quite as huge as “Scandal” or had the incessant buzz about them.

“I had never been on a show like this,” he says. The social media aspect of “Scandal” puts it in its own stratosphere. Foley now has more than 249,000 followers on Twitter and says, “I was new to Twitter. All the television I’ve done, the social media happened now and Shonda said, ‘Any reaction is a good reaction.’”

Fans are incredibly invested in Olivia Pope, Ballard and the rest of the characters. “People get attached to characters and relationships,” Foley says.

“They would sit and watch Olivia drink tea for 42 minutes. That’s not going to happen. The writers have done a great job of giving Jake some depth. There have been defectors from Team Fitz to Team Jake.

“I’m glad,” he laughs. “I was very lonely. The love triangle is a tried and true formula. It works. It worked on ‘Felicity.’ People want something to root for, and they want someone to root against and that’s important.”

Foley breaks for a moment when another member of the foreign press rushes him, tugging on his leather jacket. He smiles for her selfie. The guy is a consummate pro. What does he hear from his female fans?

“It’s positive,” he says. “And I understand how things work. I get it. At certain points, I am the hunk of the show. I don’t know if I can actually be the hunk, but I am happy.”
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