Ever have to rewind a particularly speedy speech on Scandal just to let everything the character just said sink in? Imagine having to memorize and deliver those speeches without tripping up.
Shonda Rhimes tells E! News' Zuri Hall that her talented group of actors didn't even need any special instruction when it came to perfecting the speed and cadence of her trademark fast-paced monologues.
"They seem to just know what they're doing," she says on the red carpet at Scandal's 2016 Paleyfest celebration. "They shoot there very fast. They are the ones who sort of started Scandal pace in the first place."
But Olivia Pope herself, Kerry Washington, says that Rhimes gave one very specific direction that the entire cast heeded. "She said, 'it works better when it's faster, people,' and so we all found the rhythm of it together."
Tony Goldwyn, a.k.a. President Fitzgerald Grant, concurs. "The first season we would get emails from Shonda saying, 'You people aren't talking fast enough,'" he says. They all obliged, but they had to get one thing straight. "The only hard part about it was learning to do it and feel very natural doing it and not just, 'I'm talking as fast as I possibly can!'"
Darby Stanchfield (former Gladiator/current White House spokesperson Abby Whelan) is naturally a fast talker, but she says once the cast falls out of rhythm, it takes a little time to warm up again. "When we have a hiatus and then we come back, there's always sort of this revving of the engine and we always make more mistakes at the beginning," she explains.
Bellamy Young credits the cast's ability to nail a Shonda monologue directly to the writing. Press play on the video above to find out why.
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.