Warning: “Scandal” season 7 spoilers ahead.
Queens-born actress Katie Lowes got to say goodbye to Shonda Rhimes’ political drama “Scandal” in perhaps the best way possible: Her character Quinn Perkins went from longing to wear the suit of a gladiator to donning the coveted white hat over the course of seven drama-packed seasons.
The once-naive Quinn took on a life-altering gig as the head of Olivia Pope & Associates (turned Quinn Perkins & Associates), was kidnapped on her wedding day, gave birth chained to a bed and, somehow, survived it all.
“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,” said Lowes, who starred alongside lead Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) in the series since 2012.
Reflecting back on the career-altering role, Lowes gushed about the character that’s become another part of herself over the years.
“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,” she said.
Ahead of the final episode, which aired April 19, Lowes reflected back on the farewell season that put her character in a well-deserved spotlight.
What was your reaction to Quinn taking on such a serious role – while nine months pregnant – 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.
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 think 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.