Vixen Chat: Yara Shahidi Discusses What It’s Like to be a Teenager on ‘Scandal’

Yara ShahidiDid you have to audition?

Yes. My manager knows what type of work I want to do and she saw how this role mirrored my own life. I went into the audition with the book I was actually reading at the time, 12 Years a Slave, and I auditioned with my glasses and my school uniform on.

Were you nervous?

No. I really enjoy auditioning. The whole process is enjoyable for me. There’s actually nothing nerve wracking about it.

What is it like being on the set of Scandal?

It’s been amazing. At the end of the work day Miss Kerry Washington came into my room even though she wasn’t even shooting that day and she came in and introduced herself and she was so nice! And Mr. Joe Morton and Miss Khandi Alexander (Kerry Washington’s on screen parents), they’re incredible and it’s crazy to be able to work with these incredible actors.

Did you and Kerry Washington have a chance to bond while on set?

Yes, she said I was special. And she said that she actually helped pick me for the role!

Scandal is a show for mature audiences. Did you get to follow the actual storyline of the show, or do you just film your scenes without actually watching the show in full detail?

Well, my mother reads the scripts! And she makes sure that there are no racy scenes, and I read the scenes that are appropriate for my age.

What’s the most challenging part about shooting?

It wasn’t really challenging because the character mirrored my life in so many ways. I have glasses similar to the one young Olivia wears on the TV show. She’s also a nerd and loves reading. I am the same way. I’m also a fan of the old school music that she loves, like “Ben” by Michael Jackson. 

Tags: scandal