Scandal: Joe Morton Talks Hiding Dad Secret From Kerry Washington

The collective gasp of “Scandal” fans was audible nationwide during the Season 2 finale, when it was revealed in the final scene that the head of B613 was, in fact, Olivia Pope’s father. (We just gasped again while typing that!)

One person who wasn’t surprised by the shocking twist was Joe Morton, who plays the enigmatic B613 boss Rowan Pope on the ABC drama.

“I was the only one who knew! I knew from the moment I was hired – [Kerry Washington] didn’t know,” Joe told Access Hollywood at the Emmy Diversity celebration in North Hollywood on Tuesday. “I, and maybe a couple of the producers, were the ones who kind of knew where we were going and what was happening.”

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The hardest part of keeping his on-screen identity hidden was hiding the truth from his co-stars – especially Kerry, who had no idea that she would soon be revealed as Rowan’s daughter.

“She would come up to me during table reads and say, ‘Gee, I hope we’ll have some scenes together,’ and I’d say, ‘You know, I do too!’” he recalled. “But I knew all along that what was going to happen was going to happen.”

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Experiencing the fan reaction after the cliffhanger finale aired made the months of secrecy worth it for Joe.

“It was wonderful!” he said. “You never quite know what’s going to happen. We did a live reading and people leapt right out of their seats and screamed and hollered, so it was very satisfying. It was like, phew! I guess it worked.”

“Scandal” returns with its Season 3 premiere on October 3 at 10/9c on ABC.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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