Rick Yaeger: Hey everyone, it’s Rick Yaeger here with One Question Interviews, the show where I get the golden opportunity to talk to a celebrity, and then I waste it on some random question.
Darby Stanchfield: [laughs]
Rick: Sitting across the Internet from me today is someone you might know as White House Chief of Staff, Abby Whelan, on Scandal. Please welcome Darby Stanchfield!
Rick: Hello. Wow, I can’t believe you’re here. Thank you so much for doing this.
Darby: Thanks Rick, for having me.
Rick: The whole One Question thing, before we get to the one question, we’ll do a bit of chit-chat and find out what you’ve been up to.
Rick: I hear you’re on a television show.
Darby: I am, it’s called Scandal.
Rick: It’s doing rather well.
Darby: Some people watch it, yes, it’s season five. I just got promoted to Chief of Staff for the Press Secretary. It’s sort of new and crazy things happen, moving forward. Wait till you see. I moved into Cyrus’ office, it’s now Abby Whelan’s office. It’s so exciting.
Rick: Spraying it to get the Cyrus smell out [laughs] .
Darby: I don’t know that it’s possible. It’s like putting in new carpeting, you’ve got to do a whole overhaul. Everything moves. I started out as an investigator, aka Gladiator as part of the Olivia Pope and Associates, then I moved to Press Secretary then Chief of Staff.
This is also a big spoiler for anybody who hasn’t seen Scandal. On Twitter, I used to have the title names of my different…first Gladiator, Sue, then Press Secretary. Finally when I got the third job change, I just put Abby Whelan aka Red.
When they scold me on, “Wow you’re really, really sassy,” I’m like, “Oh yeah, you’re on the first three seasons.”
Darby: When I move over to the White House side and I’m not in the bubble and the President’s calling me Gabby, I’m a little more subdued, trying to work my way into the sofa club.
Rick: The phrase downtrodden comes in, because you had to pay your dues and prove yourself.
Darby: I really did. Let me tell you, I know how to run around in a pair of Jimmy Choo four and a half inch high heels like nobody’s business after walking those fake White House hallways, running around trying to do a good job. I’m a professional high heel speed walker now.
Rick: My goodness. I can only imagine.
Darby: It’s a great skill to have. I’m putting it on my resume.
Rick: As soon as they yell, “cut,” do you kick those things off and get them gone for a while? [laughs]
Darby: They are. They go on, they come off, all day long. When we’re not shooting they come off immediately.
Rick: So you’re there, and then you’re down there. [laughs]
Darby: Yes, that’s right.
Rick: You talk about “Sassy Abby”, that’s a hashtag now.
Darby: It’s actually a hashtag now, yes. Every Thursday night when we live tweet, I turn into a crazy person. I put my cap locks on and I just tweet really, really sassy stuff that really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the show.
I mean, they’re sort of inside jokes that about maybe Mellie and her fried chicken, or Cyrus being a time bomb on two legs, or having a heart attack, or the President not being able to keep his fly shut, his floozie problems.
I just tweet things like that. As soon as the episode’s over, Friday morning I go back to being a normal person.
Rick: That’s really you on Twitter, just in case anyone is wondering.
Darby: [laughs] I’ll get asked that, I’ll get asked, “Is that really you on Thursday nights on Twitter? Are you really that sassy in real life?” I channel something during our live tweeting.
Rick: You’re getting into a character.
Darby: I want the fans to have the full sassy experience from Abby. [laughs] I mean it.
Rick: Scandal has done that from day one, providing that kind of interaction with the fans even when they weren’t the ratings juggernaut that they are, you guys were on Twitter. Now you guys trend every Thursday.
Darby: Not only do we trend Scandal, but we’ll trend things like Fitz and Mellie, or Olitz or Olivia or Huck. Character names, themes, it’s so cool.
Rick: The top five trending topics are Scandal-related anyway.
Darby: Sure, yes — worldwide.
Darby: It’s amazing, it’s dedicated Gladiators, that’s what it means. Gladiators is the term for the fans on Twitter for Scandal.
Rick: You recognize these people?
Darby: Oh yeah.
Rick: You see those names come up in your mentions.
Rick: You’ve been on some other shows. I realized it the first time I saw Scandal, “Oh, that’s Castle’s ex-wife.”
Darby: Ex-wife, Meredith, yes, the Twinkie.
Rick: Right, the Twinkie. [laughs]
Darby: I love that crazy woman.
Rick: You were also his wife in Waitress.
Darby: I know, Nathan Fillion and I…yes, that’s not the first time we’ve worked together and maybe not the last, you never know.
Rick: I’d like to see her come back.
Darby: To Castle? I know, she always stirs up trouble. I think it’s good for those two. They don’t squabble nearly enough. Meredith just kicks it into a whole another…
Rick: She was the tornado that showed up every so often.
Darby: Besides, Alexis, she needs to see her mom every 10 years.
Rick: Every 10 years or so [laughs] .
Rick: You were in Jordan recently.
Darby: Working again with Stana, from Castle. That’s our second time working together. We did an independent film. We play friends this time, and it has yet to be released. I haven’t actually seen the final edit yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
Rick: That’s Rendezvous?
Darby: Rendezvous yes, that’s name of it. That’s the working title right now. These independent films, you never know when they’re going to roll out. It’s a lot of sweat, equity, and a labor of love. That’s the phrase I was looking for…
Rick: There you go. [laughs]
Darby: A labor of love. Sometimes a labor of love take a long time, sometimes they don’t. It’s always a good time.
Rick: I’m going to go for the one question now. You have no idea what to expect at this point?
Darby: I don’t, but don’t, but don’t scare me!
Rick: No, it’s not scary.
Darby: It’s a friendly part.
Rick: I have to grab for the hat, there’s a hat.
Darby: There’s a hat you put them in. Let’s see… oh, wow!
Rick: This is the One Question hat. This is how you know that the interview has started.
Darby: You kind of look like Willie Wonka.
Rick: It’s a little Willy Wonka-ish
Darby: It’s got to be purple though, right? Isn’t his hat purple?
Rick: I think it is, At least with Gene…I was going to say Gene Hackman, but Gene Wilder. [laughs] Gene Hackman would have been a horrible Willy Wonka [laughs] .
Darby: Yes, he would have. I like your hat.
Rick: Thank you, and I have my incantation.
Darby: OK, ready.
Rick: As you know, the show is called One Question Interviews. I have almost a thousand different questions ranging from the profane to the profound.
Rick: We’ll choose one at random. You’ll answer it seriously, or in a funny voice, if you like. Then everyone goes home happy. Cool?
Rick: OK then. [laughs] Now I’ve grabbed a handful of these cards. I will riffle down the side, and you tell me when to stop.
Rick: I can’t even hold onto them.
Darby: You know the good ones are at the top.
Rick: I shuffled good today.
Darby: Everybody knows that.
Rick: Do you want the top or the bottom?
Darby: The bottom.
Rick: Darby Stanchfield, what do you notice has changed the most in your lifetime?
Darby: The environment’s warming. There being conversations about having enough water for everybody, or more species going on the endangered list. More litter showing up, not that we can see it, but more plastic in the oceans. Maybe it’s also getting older, but I’m giving you a heavy answer.
Rick: It’s a good answer though.
Darby: That’s one of the biggest things that I see the care for our environment as a non-partisan issue, as something that the whole world needs to work across. Like country lines, party lines to work together, to come together, and really embrace ways to protect our wild lands, get into renewable energies.
And to make our carbon footprint lower for all of us, for all of our children for all our well-beings now, and our well-being in the future, for our home which is the planet earth.
Rick. We’re all in the same pool.
Darby: That’s right. I’m actually working with The Wilderness Society right now. It’s a very small way to help, but The Wilderness Society, they are big proponents on helping preserve our national parks, our wild lands that have not been bought up or populated by…
Darby: That’s right. I wrote an op-ed with The Wilderness Society about protecting the Arctic Circle, the Arctic refuge from being drilled, and to protect the lands for the indigenous communities who live there and for the ecosystem. It’s something I’m very passionate about.
Rick: I feel like I know a bit of where you’re coming from, growing up in the Pacific Northwest myself. I’m in Vancouver.
Darby: Vancouver’s beautiful.
Rick: I’m south of where you were born, north of where you went to high school. I don’t know if you’ve come back to Alaska or to Seattle?
Darby: I have, I do, I go back to the Northwest as often as I can. I went back to Alaska last summer. I had not been there in 30 years. I was in Juneau. I had never been to Juneau, but I was in Juneau and I took a helicopter ride to this glacier, the Mendenhall Glacier. My chopper pilot, he told me that this glacier is shrinking at 400 feet a year.
Rick: Wow, 400 feet a year, that’s noticeable.
Darby: Times that by 50 years, you’re not going to have much of a glacier. It’s not just we’re having a hot year, it’s like the planet is warming up. You know what strikes me about all of this, these discoveries that you have about your home, or that I have about my home, it’s so easy to stay frozen in a place of anxiety or fear.
This is so overwhelming. What can I do? I feel like it’s so important to fight the fear with love, out of the love for the planet Earth, and for each other, and for our children to be proactive. Even if it’s in the smallest way, even if you’re a person who doesn’t recycle, learn how to do that. Or turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth, or join The Wilderness Society.
Spend $20 and become a member, and help them really have an influence with Congress on big ticket items. Vote for people who you think will help in those issues. There’s so much to care about in the world.
Even with that, it’s so easy to…like you and I just did, we went, “It’s so scary.” Things are warming up, and to leave it there but to go the extra step and really out of the love, out of the love that we have for humanity and for our planet, to act from love.
Rick: To do something.
Darby: It’s powerful, and if everybody did that, we’d get stuff done.
Rick: Wow, a fantastic answer. Congratulations, and thank you for being my guest.
Darby: Thanks for having me on your show.
Rick: Everyone, check out Darby on Scandal, Thursday nights on ABC during TGIT, 9 PM. and then Eight Central.
Darby: Eight Central, 9 PM., yes.
Rick: Follow her on Twitter, she is @darbysofficial, and it’s right below her face.
Darby: @darbysofficial, right there. It’s right down there somewhere.
Rick: Somewhere. Memorize darbysofficial because you can put it at the end of almost anything. You can go to facebook.com/darbysofficial.
Darby: I have a Tumblr page in which I publish recipes.
Rick: Oh my goodness, I didn’t know about that.
Darby: Oh yes. My last one up there is lentils with spicy chicken sausage and kale. It’s a slow-cook recipe. You throw everything all together in the pot, let it sit there for three hours, and you’re a rock star when it’s done. You’re a big gourmet chef.
Rick: That’s down there, instagram.com/darbysofficial, Periscope?
Darby: Periscope, which I never use but I will more.
Rick: Do that, and thanks again for being my guest.
Darby: Thank you.
Rick: It was great to talk to you, I hope you had fun.
Rick: Everyone, thank you so much for watching, and thank you even more for subscribing to the show for free on YouTube. My guests and I often have more to talk about than ends up in the final edit, so if you want to see outtakes of this interview…
Darby: You really have to subscribe for that.
Rick: She gets naked. No, she doesn’t.
Darby: Oh, I don’t know about that.
Rick: OK, no [laughs] that’s it. This is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews, take care.
Rick: Am I frozen still?
Darby: You’re totally frozen, but you look good. Oh wait, hang on now you’re not frozen.
Rick: And I don’t look good.
Darby: No, no.