In a now classic “Scandal” scene, Rowan Pope told his only daughter Olivia that he was both “the hell and the high water” and that it was time for her to hightail it out of Washington on the private plane he had at her disposal and disappear after it was revealed that she and the President were having an affair.
In true Pope style, Olivia declined the offer and strode off to her office where her gladiator team stepped in and saved the day. If you follow this storyline then you, obviously, are “Scandal” fans. Actor Joe Morton, who plays Rowan Pope with such enthusiasm, says he doesn’t think he’s that tough a dad in real life. The father of two daughters says that one of his daughters, though, did say the scene gave her some flashbacks.
“My youngest – sounds like maybe l yelled at her like that when her room wasn’t clean,” Morton admitted to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. The pivotal scene where he tries to convince his daughter to flee the country took 6 hours to shoot, though it only last for a few moments.
As Rowan Pope, the shadowy head of B316, which currently has Olivia’s former spy/lover locked into a hellish-looking hole for disobeying orders, Morton has to be secretive about a lot of things. Yes, he knows what’s in the mysterious envelope Cyrus saw last week but no, he’s not saying, and no, viewers won’t find out this week. But he’s gotten good at keeping secrets since even Kerry Washington didn’t know he was playing her father until the pivotal episode when it was revealed to everyone.
“When they first hired me I asked where is all this going. They told me I’d be Olivia Pope’s dad and we’re not going to reveal it until the last 2 lines of the last episode of the season. I said ‘I’ll take it’ and they said ‘Well you can’t tell anyone, including Kerry.’ And it helped. Given who Rowan is, someone who harbors all these secrets, it was just one more that I had to hold on to.”
So will Morton give any clues as to what’s in the envelope?
“If I tell you some people would die a serious death,” he says. (We’re not entirely sure he’s kidding.) An accomplished actor who’s been in the business for almost 40 years, Morton, 65, comes by his shady persona quite naturally – his father was a U.S. Army intelligence officer. Despite all the roles he’s done, he can figure that this one will gain him the kind of recognition and attention he’s never before seen. According to Morton, it’s already happening.
“The last time I got on the airplane, one of the flight attendants chased me down the runway. On my way to the airport, I was in the car and a woman pulled up next to me and said ‘I know who you are. You’re Olivia Pope’s daddy.”