SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched Thursday’s episode of “Scandal”, then STOP. READING. NOW — unless you want to spoil the surprise of watching a shocking development that nobody saw coming.
Still here? Then take a big sip of wine and dry those tears following the stunning death of Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi), the savvy chief of staff to Mellie Grant.
According to showrunner Shonda Rhimes, the decision to leave the show was de Rossi’s, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I have been a fan of Portia’s for years and it was an honor to have her join our ‘Scandal’ family. Portia infused Liz North with a smart, powerful and vulnerable soul while also making the humour sing — and that brought all of us in the writers’ room a lot of joy. If I could keep her forever, I would — but kidnapping is illegal. Besides, I am incredibly impressed with the vision she has for her creative future. I wish her all the best.”
As de Rossi tells THR, her decision to exit the show had nothing to do with her character or the quality of the show, but with a larger lifestyle shift she’d been contemplating for some time.
“It was my decision but not because I no longer wanted to be part of the show,” says the wife of daytime talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres. “It was more because I found a great business opportunity I wanted to pursue that was taking my interest away from acting and a career I’ve had for 20-plus years and putting it elsewhere that was very timing consuming. I approached Shonda and asked if it would be OK if I could leave ‘Scandal’. She was nothing but supportive and wished me luck in my business venture and was gracious and lovely about it.”
You know who else was supportive? Ellen Bear.
So what’s this new business? “It’s a little premature to talk about at this point but it’s along the lines of my earlier passion for art and to get art into the hands of anybody who wishes to own it,” she tells THR. “It’s what I wanted to do with my career a long time ago and then I fell into acting. Now I really have returned to the idea of having a business and being a business owner and having my love of art being incorporated into my business venture. There is technology that enables more people to enjoy art rather than a very privileged few. This business concept is to democratize art and get it into the hands of the people who appreciate it and want to own it.”
And while she see’s this new opportunity sideline her acting career for the time being, she’s not willing to say she’s quitting acting altogether.
“That doesn’t mean that I’ll never act again but for right now I want to concentrate on this full time,” she adds. “In the future, you never know — Shonda might figure out a way to resurrect Elizabeth from the dead or perhaps maybe I’ll do something acting-wise in the future.”