In the “Scandal” Season 5 finale, airing May 12, the Presidential candidates’ running mates will be revealed. Last week, Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) became the Republican nominee, while Cyrus’ pet project Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) nabbed the Democratic spot.
“I didn’t know I was going to be the nominee. I was sweating it out! I found out at the table read,” Bellamy Young tells Variety.
“I think Mellie feels elated to be the nominee,” she adds. “There were great moments of true vulnerability and self-doubt all through the spring season and that was really good for her, but now that she’s the nominee, it’s so close that I can’t imagine anything that she wouldn’t do to get it.”
Young admits that Mellie isn’t too worried about her competitor, Frankie, but before the election kicks into gear in Season 6, the former First Lady needs to pick her vice presidential running mate.
“Within our little fake D.C. world, there are a number of people who have to be vetted,” Young says when asked who she thinks should be on the ticket with Mellie — but without giving away any spoilers. “I think Susan (Artemis Pebdani); they would make an incredible team. Her honesty gives birth to such optimism. She really gives hope for America when she speaks.”
When asked if there’s a possibility for Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) to be Mellie’s vice president, Young exclaims, “Liv is great at whatever she puts her mind to. Liv and Mellie on a ticket, I mean, I know that I would feel safe in a world where they were in charge. Nothing could make me personally happier. I think they’d be incredible.”
Aside from political business, Mellie’s storyline is heating up with a new potential love interest — or at the very least, it looked that way last week when she got close to Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.). Insisting that Shonda Rhimes has not even told her the plan for Mellie’s love life next season, Young offers up some thoughts about Marcus.
“I have to say that I’m so intrigued because to have started with so much animosity, they really get each other and he really sees Mellie and he can neutralize her self-imposed mania in an instant in the most gentle way,” she says. “He’s very, very good for her, and she really trusts him and relies on him. It’s nice to see both of them having found that in someone in the little crucible of D.C. I think it’s been so good for her to soften a little and open her heart a little and remember that trust is possible. She was sort of cloaked in anger and jealousy and revenge for so many years, but she’s free of that now and free of Fitz, and it’s enabled her to connect to people in a way that she hasn’t done in a while, so I’m interested to see where it goes.”
When Variety prodded, asking specifically if Mellie and Marcus hook up, Young says with a laugh, “I will plead the fifth — and I have no idea!”
Who knows what will happen with Marcus and Mellie in tonight’s finale, but one thing is certain: the drama will be at an all-time high.
“I think the genius of this finale is how rabid it will make us all for Season 6, because it sets it up so beautifully in a way that is so unexpected,” Young teases. “But in the meantime, the ride of this 60 minutes is like whiplash. It is almost un-quantifiable on the surprise-o-meter.”
The “Scandal” Season 5 finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC.