@taperecordersally: I accidentally publicly tweeted a DM to you about my sexy feelings for Ben #awkward
That's just one of the endless 140-character cringe-inducing messages Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) would've sent to Sally during her four years at the University of New York had Twitter been around when Felicity was on the air. Of course, most of the tweets would've been about her two love interests, Ben (Scott Speedman), the high school crush she followed to college, and Noel (Scott Foley), the bumbling RA who convinced her to stay in New York (or perish!). Together, the three characters formed one of TV's greatest love triangles.
Now, over a decade later, Scott Foley once again finds himself in one of TV's most talked-about love triangles on ABC's Scandal as his character Jake Ballard is battling it out with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), the president, for professional fixer Olivia's (Kerry Washington) affection. Scandal fans, of course, are some of the most vocal on social media, dominating the worldwide trending topics each Thursday night and unafraid to share their thoughts/feelings/hatred/etc. with the always-down-to-tweet cast. We recently chatted with Foley about dealing with the Jake haters and why Jake's better for Liv than Fitz. Plus, he imagined what Felicity fans would've been like on Twitter.
You were introduced in the second season as a new love interest for Olivia right off the bat. While we were personally Team Jake right away, it feels like you constantly have to stick up for him on Twitter.
I knew you were out there!
How does it feel to constantly be defending your character and dealing with fans constantly tweeting their dislike for Jake at you?
I love it. I have to tell you, the fact that people are so up in arms...Look, anytime people find a character so polarizing, find a character so bad or so good or whatever it is, it's a great thing for the show, and it's a great thing for me. For me it means I'm doing something right. I didn't come into this saying, hey, I'm going to play this character that everyone's going to love! That's a horrible way to start anything.
Look, I was a fan of the show before I was on the show. I loved the dynamic that Kerry and Tony have together with Fitz and Olivia and I love the struggle that they can't be together because he's the president and he's married, but to throw sort of another wrinkle into it, I think Jake is a really interesting character, and a great—I hate to say alternative because I don't see him that way—but a great alternative for Olivia. Like, hey, you can't have Fitz, and the world and reality says you can't have Fitz, here's a great guy it seems. He's mysterious and seems to really like you, and there doesn't seem to be a problem. And I think we know some things with Jake and his relationship with B613 and obviously now Olivia's father being Command, there's problems there too. But I think if there weren't problems, we wouldn't be watching Scandal, would we?
Who do you think is the best option for Olivia right now? Both have their downsides, as you said: Fitz is the president and married to Mellie, Jake is a former B613 assassin…
I believe in Jake. I believe in him. I believe that he has Olivia's best intentions in mind. Not to say Fitz doesn't. I think Fitz is wholeheartedly in love with Olivia, and Mellie is part of this…she's just another cog in the presidential wheel. Who's better for her? I don't know. Fitz may be able to provide something in post-presidency, some sort of stability that Jake has never had and isn't able to, but I think emotionally, Jake believes he can give her everything she needs. So it's a tough pull. We don't know much about the history of Jake's love life. We don't know if B613 has allowed him to be in any relationships. We just don't know. I think he's sort of willing to take that chance with Olivia and give it a shot, so I'm Jake Ballard all the way.
With the way that social media reacts to love triangles, how do you think Noel and Ben fans would have been on Twitter?
Rabid. I mean I'm so happy that Twitter wasn't around back then. I think I was too young.
You were younger and more fragile.
Substantially more fragile, right! You know, now I just find them humorous, but I think back then I would have been devastated. But you know, Noel and Ben had their own camps, obviously, and the camp size would grow and shift based on, obviously per episode and per season, and you know, sort of changing tides. I think, OK, I have to say this—I think the Ben camp was probably larger by the end of the show, but if we're taking Twitter into consideration, and Noel Crane having been sort of a geek with regards to his love of all things tech, and Mac, and computers, I think his fans would have been more active on social media than Ben fans were.
We think that's a valid argument.
You know? And I'm still a Noel Crane fan.
Not gonna lie, we were Ben fans, but we're totally Team Jake at the moment, so it evens out.
Oh, good! It evens out and I'm not completely offended that we had this conversation.
Scandal airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.