Scattered Clouds 38° Good Afternoon
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Katie Lowes calls ‘Scandal’ final season the ‘hardest thing’ she’s ever done

The Queens-born actress reflects on the show’s seven seasons.

Katie Lowes was pregnant during filming of Thursday's

Katie Lowes was pregnant during filming of Thursday's violent episode involving her pregnant character, Quinn, on "Scandal." Photo Credit: ABC

Warning: “Scandal” season 7 spoilers ahead.

On the edge of your seat watching Thursday night’s episode of “Scandal”? So was Katie Lowes.

The Queens-born actress who plays Quinn on the series said she was “petrified” to watch the episode that flashed back to reveal what went on in Rowan’s basement the night her pregnant character was supposedly shot to death.

“It’s so weird. I knew this episode was coming, obviously,” Lowes said, adding that shooting the scenes in which her character gives birth to her firstborn daughter, Robin, was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.”

After being tricked into believing we’d seen the last of the new head of QPA, “Good People” revealed Quinn’s death was all a bunch of “Scandal” trickery (for now). Still, the episode had Lowes’ pregnant character chained to a bed in Rowan’s basement on her wedding night, and in typical Shonda Rhimes fashion, gory shots ensued.

The episode hit a little too close for Lowes, who was nearly nine-and-a-half months pregnant at the time of filming.

“It was like Quinn’s life and my life colliding,” she said. “For so many reasons, it was a very physical and emotional episode. I was able to call upon and use a lot of the things I was going through in my own personal life for the character.”

Lowes announced she’d welcomed her first child, a son named Albee, in October, just about two weeks after filming the high-intensity episode that had her fighting the fictional world’s highest-trained assassin and giving birth without proper medical attention on a cot.

“It was such an opportunity for me to really go there as an actress,” she said. “I was also at the point of my pregnancy where you’re having check-ins with your OB like every other day to make sure the baby isn’t stressed. I can remember being in the middle of really intense scenes and then when they’d call ‘Cut’ I’d look down at my stomach and be like, ‘It’s pretend! It’s pretend! None of this is real, you’re safe! Mommy just has a really crazy job.’ ”

Lowes kept tight-lipped on whether or the episode — which seemingly left off with Quinn (alive) striking up a deal with the former head of B613 — had sealed Quinn’s fate for the rest of the final series’ seventh and final season. She added, “There’s also only so much I know. I only know what I’ve read thus far.”

“Scandal” airs new episodes Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

So long, “Scandal”: Katie Lowes says goodbye

What was your reaction to Quinn taking on such a serious role in “Scandal’s” final season?

I was shocked because I think Shonda was the first person to know I was pregnant. I think I told her when I was five minutes pregnant. Since I was going to be seriously pregnant I thought I’d take a back seat and not be so heavy.

But, what’s amazing about Shonda Rhimes is she did the polar opposite, which is, “Oh no, we’re gonna make sure that you’re running OPA and Olivia is going to give you the keys to the castle because the world needs to see a pregnant woman in power.” We need to see a woman on TV who’s pregnant and kicking ass. Of course, Shonda wouldn’t shy away from my pregnancy, so I was so thrilled to work my butt off and be a tough badass. My leather coats just kept going up in size as we went on and that was fine.

Looking back at the last seven seasons, how has Quinn evolved?

Can you believe it? Quinn was the rookie. She was the newbie, the bright-eyed, bushy tailed, just so happy to have a job at Olivia Pope and Associates, and Olivia was the end all and be all. Now, the exact full circle is that we saw her at the end of last season running OPA [Olivia Pope & Associates] and falling in love and planning a wedding, being pregnant. My gosh, she’s just such a boss, strong, grounded, loyal gladiator in a leather coat. To me, what I love about her so much is she’s a gladiator through and through.

What has Quinn taught you about being a gladiator in your own life?

She walked through life with such a fierceness, such a fierce loyalty to her friends and whatever case she’s working on. I try to take that into my life, when I commit to something or when I say I’m gonna work on something. I try to be loyal to the things I believe in and to my friends and family. I think I’ve definitely learned that from Quinn.

Which of “Scandal’s” seven seasons stands out as the most rewarding?

For me, it’s definitely this one. I mean, you can’t get more memorable than getting to act while carrying my baby and having a cool boss who also made my character pregnant. We also got to cherish every single moment because we were lucky enough to know it was the end. I feel like so many shows get canceled and you don’t get to say a proper goodbye. We’re really getting to honor every single moment, every single table read and every single early morning in the trailers I had over the last seven years. This season was so epic and so love-filled. I just miss everybody a lot already.

What would you like to say as a final goodbye to the series?

I can’t even believe we’re talking about this right now. I feel so honored to be a small part of this show. I love the people I’ve worked with. I’ve loved my character through and through with all of her flaws and complications and imperfections.

When people look back on “Scandal,” I hope it made an impression on the TV landscape for having women in amazing roles, women of color and women in powerful positions, a female president and a pregnant woman running an office. Those are all images I feel so lucky to be a part of a show that put that on TV.

If we could get a glimpse into the future for the women of “Scandal,” what would it look like?

I want Mellie to be president for eight years. But I don’t know if in “Scandal” happy endings look like what we expect them to look like. I’m not sure Olivia Pope needs to be in a committed relationship; I don’t know if that is her happy place. For me, my happy place for Olivia would be her back wearing the white hat. I don’t need to see her with a guy, but I need to see her on the right side of justice. I feel the opposite for Abby. I thinks she’s had such horrible experiences with men and her previous marriage I would love to see her with someone who treats her well.

Would you revisit the series in the future?

I don’t know if it would be possible for her to go back, but I’d jump on any opportunity to be with these people in this world at any point ever again.

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