‘Scandal’: Dan Bucatinsky Talks Show’s High Stakes Return – ‘It’s Gonna Be ON’

As if the stakes weren’t high enough on the drama-packed mid-season finale of “Scandal,” series star Dan Bucatinsky – who plays newly-named White House Press Secretary James Novak on the show – says it’s about to get even crazier!

“Everybody does what they need to do to get what they want,” the actor told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Friday’s Access Hollywood Live, of “Scandal’s” mid-season return.

On the mid-season finale, (SPOILERS AHEAD if you’re not caught up!), fans were shocked when Cyrus (Jeff Perry) set up James in an effort to blackmail Vice President Sally Langston (Kate Burton) regarding her closeted husband, but once James realized he had – once again – been used as a pawn in the scheming hands of his husband, he decided to go for it and deliberately cheated to teach Cyrus a painful lesson.

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While his character decided to go down the dark, can’t-come-back-from-that road, Dan said he probably wouldn’t have made that call if faced with the same situation in his own life.

“I could’ve raced out of there and gone to scream at my spouse, which is probably what I would do in real life,” he laughed. “I would take the whiney, boo-hoo route in real life… but James goes through with it! I also feel like James didn’t realize photos would be taken – it’s really a chess game and the writers raise the stakes every single time, and the same thing happens when we come back.

“It’s gonna be ON,” he added.

Gladiators will see a whole new dynamic between Cyrus and James, following the explosive, backfired blackmail incident (which led to Sally murdering her straying husband).

“You’re gonna see a new relationship [between Cyrus and James]. I think they’ve always used their personal relationship for political gain and I think that having [Cyrus’] husband in the halls of the White House is gonna be an interesting dynamic to play out and it certainly will ramp up the pressure,” Dan said.

The actor also hinted at what’s to come when the show returns on February 27.

“Fitz runs for reelection – I can’t say whether he wins or not. I can say the second half of the season will be about his reelection,” Dan – whose book, “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?” is now available on audio, said. “It’s gonna be about the ramifications of Sally Langston, his Vice President, murdering her husband. Kate Burton is so talented and so unbelievably multi-layered and what you’ll see her do when we come back is – like, parts of her personality you’ve never seen before.”

“Scandal” returns with new episodes February 27 at 10 PM on ABC.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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