Jeff Perry of ‘Scandal’ was ‘really uneducated’ about politics
BY MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org May 19, 2013 9:28PM
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Updated: June 21, 2013 6:02AM
When I got the news I had to be naked [on “Scandal”], I thought, “I’m embracing one of my very favorite actors in the world, James Gandolfini.” He walked around in his boxers as Tony Soprano, and by God, it never hurt his acting.
I don’t know what it is with me. Stupidity. Lack of any sense of reality. But it just doesn’t bug me.
“No” is really handy, because I’ll have really stupid ideas.
[“Scandal” co-star] Kerry Washington was on a plane ride with Bill Clinton where she found out that Bill loves the show. … We can tweet that stuff.
Our live tweeting during the show is this connection to hundreds of thousands of people. We get 10,000 Twitter hits a minute these days.
I was tremendously apolitical and really uneducated. So I get the [“Scandal”] gig and I’ve got C-Span running, I’m reading whatever I can read — from Robert Caro to Hunter Thompson to books about RFK, just because I wanted to start soaking it up.
The machinations of how to use political power are fairly contrary to my wiring. I’m kind of wired like a hippie wanting to be in a commune.
[At Steppenwolf] we have a giant soft spot — a soft ravine, a soft glacier — for dysfunction and conflict, everything from pettiness to hatred. But we kind of love it.
There are ways in which we have such a common history. [But] there are obstacles and barriers to a present-tense understanding of each other. There are real ups and downs with that, as life circumstances change for each other.
My old Steppenwolf crowd will tell you that I reminded them of that character with the black cloud from “Charlie Brown,” Pigpen. It was one of John Malkovich’s favorite nicknames for me.
My wife has a funny nickname for me: Mahatma Patton. She says I’m usually Gandhi, but once in a while we get General George.
Gary Sinise was never vain. Well, that’s not true. I remember him teasing his hair and being so pleased about how he looked in a production of “Fifth of July.” John Malkovich and I were saying, “Stop it. God. Will you stop? Someone tell Gary it’s curtain time.”
I’ve had the nicest, sweetest level of celebrity, where it’s just a couple people here and there saying, “Hey!” But it never stopped me from going anywhere or traveling or eating a meal. It’s pretty great.
“Scandal” has just been a blast on every level. People have asked me if the cast gets along. I said, “Get along is an understatement.” I’m sorry to say that we are more gushing than an 11-year-old girl at a sleepover.
I adore these people and vice versa. Or maybe they say s--- behind my back.