Q&A: Scandal Star Katie Lowes
Rising actress talks cliffhangers, starting a theater troupe, and her LA neighborhood.
September 26, 2012
If you’ve been following the hit ABC television show based on a Washington, DC crisis-management firm, Scandal, then right now you’re probably wondering, “Who is Quinn Perkins?” Good news—according to Katie Lowes, the actress behind last season’s cliffhanger character, you’ll find out in the show’s season two premiere, airing September 27 on ABC at 10 PM. Meanwhile, we set out to discover just a little bit more about Lowes herself, who has popped up in films like Super 8 and Transformers 2.
After last season’s cliffhanger, will we find out Quinn Perkins’ identity?
KATIE LOWES: Yes, you will find out very quickly into the premiere episode who Quinn Perkins is. But sadly, as soon as that question is answered, I think audience members will realize that it’s just the beginning of more questions.
Which means we’ll be seeing a lot more from you on the show.
KL: I only know six episodes worth, but all the questions that come about in the first episode are part of, from what I can tell, a much larger conspiracy that has very high stakes.
From filming last season, did you have any sense of who your character was?
KL: No, there was no reveal to me. [The show’s creator] Shonda Rhimes kind of only tells you vaguely what you need to know in order to play the episode to the best of your ability, but other than that, it’s just such trust in knowing that everything they’re creating for you down the pipeline is going to make sense. I have to say that I can totally attest to that, because what’s cool about finding out who Quinn Perkins is, is that it makes perfect sense with the seven episodes we shot last season.
For readers who haven’t tuned into Scandal yet, tells us why they should.
KL: This show is special for so many reasons. It’s about a crisis management fixer—it’s based on a real woman in Washington DC who repped Monica Lewinsky and Michael Vick, it’s about a woman who deals with everyone from all walks of life on the worst day in their lives and how she’s going to fix whatever scandal they’re dealing with before it becomes public knowledge. It’s a fast-paced show, it has crazy twists and turns, everything you think you know completely changes from act to act. You can’t watch just one [episode], you have to come back because it’s such a roller coaster ride.
You founded the IAMA Theater in LA. Tell us about that.
KL: I went to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and I have a kick-ass clique of friends from school. We all lived in New York for a long time—there’s about 13 of us—and we all moved to LA in the same two-year span. And the only thing we knew how to do was make guerilla-style theater [because] that’s what we learned at school. All of us were waitresses, babysitters, and had the worst jobs ever, so we started a theater company six years ago. We would all take turns—if you got to act in this one, then the next play you have to run the light board or the sound board or do costumes. We’re a theater company that only does original pieces and a lot of the pieces that we’ve originated have actually moved on and have had lives other places. [A] play we did, Assistants, just got sold as a pilot at NBC.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in LA?
KL: When I first moved here I lived in West Hollywood and then I moved to Venice, and then I finally ended up in this little nook called Beachwood Canyon. It’s right under the Hollywood sign and I just absolutely love it. I hope I get to live here for a long time because it has that vibe where you just jump down Beachwood and you’re on Vine and that whole scene. There’s Delancey (5936 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, 323-469-2100) over there, which I love, and The Mercantile (6600 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-962-8202), and Township Saloon (6612 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-464-5700)…but then as soon as you drive up Beachwood, it’s secluded and feels sort of...homey. I hike the Hollywood sign three days a week, it’s one of my favorite things to do around here. And a new restaurant just opened up in Beachwood—a tiny restaurant called Beachwood Café (2695 N. Beachwood, Hollywood, 323-871-1717) with amazing farm-to-table, organic food. I go there all the time.
Photography by Eric Scott