“There is this weird co-fascination between Hollywood and Washington,” Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC’s hit “Scandal,” explained to Variety Saturday afternoon at Tammy Haddad’s annual Garden Party Brunch.
One of the crown-jewels in the social bender that is the annual White House Correspondents Dinner weekend, the brunch, held at the former Georgetown home of Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham, is a curious hodge-podge of Washington and Hollywood.
White House staffers like Valerie Jarrett was sitting on a couch, while CNN reporters like national security correspondent Jim Sciutto was sipping a latte, and Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington was again extolling the virtues of sleep.
If Goldwyn has learned anything from being imported from Los Angeles for the annual WHCD festivities, it’s that the town is more absurd than any showrunner can imagine.
“The reality [of Washington] is far more outrageous than ‘Scandal.’ At least given this presidential campaign,” Goldwyn said.
Now on his third WHCD weekend, he has made friends with folks like President Obama’s chairman of economic advisors, Gene Sperling. And, Goldwyn said, all these policy conversations provide fodder for his character on “Scandal.”
“It is quite helpful,” Goldwyn confessed. “It gives you a sense of what the reality is. I have in my imagination the world that I try to inhabit, but just walking through the West Wing, or meeting people that actually work there, or talking policy with people who actually do that, helps me fill in the gaps when I’m standing in Sunset Gower Studios pretending to be the president. So I have a feeling of what the actual world is. Not that our world is terribly realistic.”