If you’re a Scandal fan, you screamed at the top of your lungs when you heard Oliva Pope’s mother was alive and well. Screamed or jumped up and down like a 10-year-old. This week, we were officially introduced to Mama Pope, played by actress Khandi Alexander, who also happens to be a huge fan of the ABC show. In an interview with E!, the 56-year-old actress chatted about how she had to keep her role top secret–from e’rybody. She explained:
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.’ And I didn’t tell anyone. 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 also joked about how disappointed she was that her fashion would be limited to a prison jumpsuit:
Oh, you have no idea. Not only do they tell me nothing about what I’m doing other than I’m going to be Mama Pope, but I worked with Lyn Paolo, the stylist, on ER for 12 years. We were so excited to work together again and I just couldn’t wait. 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.’