Working out in his basement Thursday morning, “Scandal” actor Joe Morton thought his silent phone meant he was a no-go for an Emmy nomination. Then, shortly after the announcements were made, it rang.
“It’s been kind of a rush since then,” Morton said, calling between interviews while sitting outside Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Morton, who plays the sinister Rowan Pope on the hit political show, received his first Emmy nomination Thursday for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. His character is arguably one of the most conniving on the show, both toward his daughter, Olivia Pope, and the rest of the political animals.
“For most of my career I’ve played good guys, and just before this character was offered, I was actively looking for a very intelligent villain to play,” Morton said. “This came along at exactly the right moment, and it was exactly the kind of character I was looking for. It was literally a dream come true.”
Morton, previously seen on TV in SyFy's “Eureka” and “The Good Wife,” said he has particularly enjoyed the monologues that show runner Shonda Rhimes and the writing room create for his character. With Season 4 of the show on the horizon, Morton said, he doesn’t even know for sure where the villain will go next.
“I can only guess the things that I’ve done in terms of doing in the president’s son, and all that will sort of come back at me, so we’ll see what happens,” Morton said.
For now, he plans to celebrate his nomination with his girlfriend by indulging in one of Olivia Pope’s favorite drinks, with a twist.
“This past Fourth of July, my girlfriend and I were up in the Finger Lakes [in New York], and she went to a winery and came back with three bottles of sparkling red wine called “Scandalicious,” so I think we’re going to open one of those bottles tonight.”
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on NBC on Monday, Aug. 25. The ceremony, which is being held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, will be hosted by Seth Meyers.