Khandi Alexander on ‘Scandal’ Role: ‘I Didn’t Tell Anyone’



Scandal fans experienced a conundrum of sorts when it was revealed that Olivia Pope’s mother was alive and well. Khandi Alexander, who recently made her debut as the mysterious character, tells E! Online that getting the job meant keeping it on the down low until an air date.

“The executive producer, Mark Wilding, called me and offered me the part. And he said, ‘The only thing I can tell you is that you’re Mama Pope and you can’t tell anybody anything. Do you want it or don’t you? Is it a yes or a no?’ I said, ‘I’m in and I won’t say anything,'” she says of the casting process.

“I didn’t tell my agent, my manager, my boyfriend. I didn’t tell anybody and I didn’t know anything….They knew I was doing the show but they didn’t know anything about what I was playing.”

Alexander was also reunited with stylist Lyn Paolo, whom she worked with for 12 years on ER. Although the two were excited to reunite, choosing wardrobe wasn’t as fun as she imagined it to be.

“I had visions of Chanel in my head! And I showed up and she said, ‘OK, so what size jumpsuit do you want?’ And I said, ‘Wait, what? Excuse me?’ Because I had no idea what I was doing. I said, ‘No one’s told me anything! Is it a 70?s flashback?’ She said, ‘Nope, you’re gonna be in grey. What size do you want? Do you want to eat in this jumpsuit? I can give you a large.”

Vixens: are you enjoying Khandi as Mama Pope?

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