Role in Scandal 'life changing'
Darby Stanchfield describes working on Scandal as ''one of those life-changing experiences''.
Chatting at a recent cocktail party at the Television Critics Association Conference in Pasadena, the 42-year-old Alaskan-born actress says she is loving playing crisis management investigator Abby Whelan on the hit US political drama.
''I like that she has so many dimensions. It would be very easy for Abby to just move the plot forward especially when they have cases that they are solving but she's quirky and the writers have written a full character. She's kind of bratty and speaks her mind - she's very opinionated. She also has a secretive sexy side and has this boyfriend at the DA's office.''
Stanchfield, who has also had significant roles on the likes of Jericho, Mad Men and NCIS, says there is a real feeling of collaboration between Scandal's writers and actors.
''They really seem to watch what we do with their words and how we deliver them. But I also love that you can cover up the name of the character's on the script and still know who is speaking.''
Dressed up to the nines and sporting her trademark flowing red tresses, Stanchfield says she also enjoys her regular pre-season meetings with costume designer Lyn Paolo, whom she describes as a ''genius''.
''This time around we said 'where's Abby going and where has she been'. 'She's falling in love so let's take her in a different direction appearance-wise to reflect what's going on in her life. She's gotten further away from the abusive marriage and she's now more self-confident'.''
When asked whether being involved with Scandal has increased her interest in politics, Stanchfield demurs.
''Well it hasn't made my want to run for office but what I'm more keenly watching now are the scandals that happen - the mistakes. As I'm reading these stories and watching news clips I'm thinking 'who coached this person?', 'what are they saying?', 'is the wife holding his hand?' and 'what is he wearing?
"There are so many things behind the scenes that we don't really get to see and now my imagination starts to go wild with what they might be up to.''
Scandal, 10.30pm, Tuesdays, TV2