You Won’t Believe Who Was Meant To Play Olivia Pope
Ah, fast talking Olivia Pope. The highest gladiator, powerhouse and fixer upper.
The infamous role is played of course, by the gorgeous Kerry Washington, a talented and popular black actress, and until now, we couldn't imagine anyone else in the role.
Well, it has just come to our attention that Kerry wasn't the first choice. Not even close.
The lady picked to take the role was none other than....Connie Britton! The Nashville actress had just wrapped on Friday Night Lights and was considered due to her awesome leading lady abilities. Obvi.
"Nothing felt more important than the sense of outsiderness," creator Shonda Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter. "I didn't know that there hadn't been a drama series with a leading black woman for 37 years."
So of course, when it comes to Shondaland - if Shonda says...it doth happen.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Washington ended up being the clear front runner, because in fact, Olivia Pope is based on real-life fixer Judy Smith – who is black.
Shonda felt very strongly that the actress should reflect the strong character of Smith from head to toe.
Can you imagine Connie in that role? Nope! No way... then there might not have been a RAYNA JAMES!!!
Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville" who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week. And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT