"I stay out of the 'Who's sleeping with who,'" says Smith, letting Rhimes, whose other shows include Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, and the other members of the writing team worry about the relationship plot lines.
"What I really try to is focus on the crisis, bring some advice and authenticity to the crisis and how the crisis would be solved."
Despite Scandal's political parallels—the second season's premiere deals with a Libya-like foreign policy fiasco—neither the show, nor Smith's approach, should be viewed as partisan. "I really do stay away from politics. I think crises are political neutral," says Smith. She thinks everyone, not just politicians and celebrities, could benefit from her approach, which she elaborates in her book Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets.
"Everybody has crises and issues and problems that come up, and it really isn't different from those high-profile folk than us everyday folks. …The saying is that the cover-up is far worse than the crime, and that's very true. ... You can't run from it."
But you can watch it.
Scandal premieres Thursday, September 27 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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