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'Scandal' Scoop: Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz Talk Torture, Face-Licking, and Hope for Huckleberry Quinn


(ABC)

[Warning, this story contains spoilers from last week's episode of Scandal, "YOLO."]

Just when we thought Scandal couldn't possibly get any crazier, last week's episode featured Huck using his arsenal of torture skills on coworker, friend, and one-time protégé Quinn. It was a brutal plot twist for both fans and Scandal stars Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz, who confessed to us that they were both blindsided by the teeth-pulling turn of events. So what's coming up next for Huckleberry Quinn in the upcoming midseason finale? Read on to get the scoop straight from Lowes and Diaz.

Huck and Quinn were like family and now he has performed non-anesthetized dental work on her. How do they come back from that?

Katie Lowes: You know, I hold in my heart that they can. Taking myself outside of the show, Guillermo and I are friends and we're close so of course I just root for Huckleberry Quinn. But I really don't know how they come back from this. I know that Quinn — and you'll see in Episode 10 — she is forever changed from this experience. For anyone who's been tortured…it really takes a toll. I don't know how they're going to come back.

I know you can't say if Quinn's mission to take down Rowan is successful, but if it is, would that wipe the slate clean for Huck? For Quinn?

Guillermo Diaz: I think if she ends of pulling off what she's set out to do that it would certainly make things better. But as you saw in the last scene of the last episode, everything gets turned around and we realize that the monster is not the dad but it's actually the mother. So what Quinn is getting ready to do is actually the wrong thing.

KL: Again! [laughs]

Quinn can't ever get this whole hit man thing right.

GD: But you have to give her A for effort. She jumped in and she was like, 'Listen Huck, I'm going to do something better than just give you something. I'm actually going to do something.' So she was a trooper and hopefully that will count for something.

How did you guys respond when you first read the teeth pulling torture scene?

KL: We don't get our scripts beforehand so we first see them at the table read. And it was devastating. Guillermo and I always sit next to each other at every table read, and I could barely act, I was crying the whole time. And Guillermo was crying.

GD: Yeah, we cried a lot.

KL: It was just really emotional and scary and thrilling. As an actor you're excited for the chance to do something that's so challenging and so out of left field. But at the same time we were really so in shock. Guillermo and I did not think he would torture her. We thought when we read the script from the week before and they walked in and the tarp was there, like, 'Oh, Huck is just going to scare the crap out of her to get the information.' But of course, in brilliant Shonda Rhimes fashion anything you think is going to happen doesn't. And anything that scares you or you think goes too far, she is not afraid.

Huck licking Quinn's face was a particularly disturbing touch. Was it scripted or improvised?

GD: It was completely in the script. Everything we did in the scene was pretty much in the script. Shonda and the writers are so wonderful that I never feel like I need to improv or add something extra. So pretty much everything you see in the show is scripted. And the lick was completely scripted.

The cast of Scandal is really involved with the show's fans on Twitter. What was the fan reaction like during the episode?

KL: It was crazy that night. We get tons, hundreds of thousands of tweets a night, but that was the first night that I honestly could not keep up.

GD: Same with me.

KL: And I would say it was a big mixed bag. A lot of people were super upset about Huckleberry Quinn and there still are those people who think that Huck and Quinn are going to be an item. And they were devastated. Then there were all the people who just love Huckleberry Quinn together as a team and they were devastated. Then there were the people who were like, 'Yeah Huck! Get her, she deserves it, kill her!' Then there were the people who said, 'Noooo, how could you do this to her, Huck? You crossed a line. She's your friend, let her go.' The best part about it was that everyone was so damn fired up.

GD: Yeah, everyone felt something. No one was indifferent. Everyone had a very clear feeling about the torture stuff.

KL: And everyone's feelings were in all caps and exclamation points. [laughs]

Shonda recently gave an interview with Vulture where she talked about initially being uncomfortable with the racial aspect of having a man of color torture a white woman. I confess, this wasn't something I noticed or thought about at all. Was it something you guys were conscious of? Race has a place on Scandal, but I don't know that it's really ever been a big part of Huck's story.

GD: Honestly, I didn't think about it at all until I read that article. That never even crossed my mind. Which is good because that scene was so well-written and our scripts are so good, I never think about that stuff. I never think about the race. The relationships are so rich and so interesting that I never look at the color or the ethnicity of the character.

KL: I felt the same way. I didn't even occur to me until I read that article and then I thought, 'She's right.' Shonda was just writing what Huck would do. Huck's a torturer. Someone is his life did something that she's not supposed to do and he needs to get information out of her, so that's what he does. It's x + y = z for him. So I just thought that he was doing what he was trained to do. And then, of course, you read that article and you're like, 'Holy mackerel, is Shonda a genius or what?'


Scandal's midseason finale airs Thursday, December 12 at 10/9c on ABC. The series will return from its winter hiatus with all-new episodes on February 27. Visit Scandal's official website here.

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