It’s hard to get to the Oval Office. Just ask Tony Goldwyn.
Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, the commander-in-chief on ABC’s “Scandal,” began not in a log cabin or as a community organizer but as one of Jason’s victims in “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.”
“Luckily, it’s been uphill from there,” Goldwyn tells The Post.
Although best known as an actor, including a memorable turn as Patrick Swayze’s traitorous colleague in “Ghost,” Goldwyn’s also worked behind the camera as a director.
He has directed episodes of “Dexter,” “Damages” and “Justified” as well as several films, including 2010’s “Conviction,” which kept him uninterested in tackling a role as a series regular.
But when “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes presented him with the chance to be a president — with a treacherous wife and a model-gorgeous girlfriend — he changed his mind.
“I just thought this was such a great, fun piece of material and a potentially fantastic role that I just wanted to give it a shot,” he says.
“And when I heard that Kerry Washington was going to be playing Olivia Pope, I barely had to read the script.
“I’m just such a huge fan of Kerry’s. I have been for years.” (lol he has such a crush on her - OP)
Given their steamy onscreen chemistry, Goldwyn’s regard for Washington appears to be mutual.
“We rarely even have to talk about the scenes,” says Goldwyn. “Sometimes we’ll sort of check in about one or two things that we want to remember to keep in mind as we’re working, but we have a kind of deeper level that we connect on as actors, and that translates for our physical chemistry.
“The greater challenge comes from the tortured subtext between these two people. There’s more in what’s not said between Fitz and Olivia than what is.”
Goldwyn says he tried to avoid drawing from other actors who’ve portrayed POTUS and instead found his model for Fitz in the real deal.
“Obama’s very careful and methodical in a way that perhaps Fitz is not, but he’s charming and brilliant as a speaker, which is why I’ve watched him a lot for Fitz,” he says.
“I guess there’s some Nixon, in the sense that Nixon found himself caught up in such a web of his own making.
“I sort of feel there’s much more of Clinton in Fitz.”
Goldwyn may soon be back behind the camera again. He’s collaborating with writer/director Richard LaGravenese on their pilot for AMC.
“We’re in the editing phase right now, and I must say it’s looking great,” Goldwyn says of the as-yet-untitled legal drama, which stars Paul Schneider (“Parks and Recreation”) and Joe Anderson (“The River”).
“My first commitment is to ABC, of course, but if the AMC series gets picked up, it’d still all work out, because it’d shoot pretty much during our hiatus from ‘Scandal.’ ”
Let's join ms_mmelissa tonight over at scandaltv for live discussion.