When we last saw David Rosen (Joshua Malina) on “Scandal,” he had been placed on leave from the U.S. attorney’s office and had put up a “Homeland”-esque wall of evidence about the Quinn Perkins case in his apartment.
For the character, it’s not a great moment. The actor, though, is having a blast.
“I’m very happy with where it has gone and where it continues to go, which is that he’s out of his suit,” Malina says during a round of interviews on the “Scandal” set. “I like the fact that you’re seeing him out of his suit as much as you are this season, because it means we’re getting a little bit of his personal story and seeing how he functions away from work. So I’d like to continue seeing that. I’d like to see him continue pursuing the story … without dying.”
The audience already knows that Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is hiding something bigger about Quinn (Katie Lowes) than her involvement in the bombing case David prosecuted. He’s starting to realize that too, and he starts his own investigation in Thursday’s (Oct. 18) episode.
“Both professionally and I think more than that, personally, the character becomes obsessed with trying to figure out how he got screwed out of what looked like a slam-dunk win,” Malina says. He gets some help this week from his assistant Alissa (guest star Brenda Song) — and assistance from other sources may be in the cards too.
“There will be sort of shifting allegiances — a variety of different characters are interested in finding out the same information,” he says. “… Sometimes we’re on the same page, sometimes we’re briefly on the same page and suddenly adversaries again. It’s kind of a fluid thing, but I have a very serious through-line of just trying to find out — because it’s personal for me — what exactly happened. I know it somehow traces back to Olivia.”
Malina and the rest of the “Scandal” cast are obviously a few episodes ahead of the audience, but he says they don’t know much more about where the show is headed beyond the most recent script they’ve received.
“One of the fun things about the show is I don’t really know either bookend. I don’t really know where it’s going, I don’t really know too much where I’ve come from,” he says. “It’s very much in the present — here’s the next script, here’s what happens. So you have to kind of think and act on your feet. Some actors might be thrown by that, but I enjoy it.”
He’s also pretty comfortable with what’s known on set as “‘Scandal’ pace” — the rapid delivery of copious amounts of dialogue. Having worked on a pair of dialogue-heavy Aaron Sorkin shows — “Sports Night” and “The West Wing” — was good training.
“One of the similarities is, you get a script, and it’s too long. It’s too long for an hour drama,” he says. “And that speaks to a certain pace that we call ‘Scandal’ pace, which simply has to be met or we’re not going to have a show. It’s fun … the way it’s written just action-wise is an insane momentum, but even the dialogue scenes, you just have to keep up the pace.”
“Scandal” airs at 10 p.m. ET Thursday on ABC.