Can you imagine?!
"When the show got picked up [to pilot], I got a phone call from somebody who said, 'This would be the perfect show for Connie Britton.' I said, 'It would be, except Olivia Pope is black,'" Shonda, 47, recently told The Hollywood Reporter.
Connie (left) and Kerry (right).
Shonda envisioned political crisis manager Olivia Pope to be like President George W. Bush's real-life White House press aide, Judy Smith. "Shonda said she felt strongly that Olivia be black," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told THR. "It was inspired by Judy, and she wanted to honor that."
After meeting Kerry, 40, Shonda knew she was the right fit for Scandal. "She was different than what I originally envisioned," she said. "We were all like, 'Oh my God,' because she's tiny, cute, pretty, and younger — and because she was all those things, she was aware that people would underestimate her."
Kerry on Scandal (top) and Connie on Nashville (bottom).
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"It would have been a great role for Connie Britton!" Kerry said. Though Connie missed out on Scandal, the 50-year-old actress later landed a starring role on the ABC musical drama Nashville.
After portraying country star Rayna James for five seasons from 2012 to 2017, Connie left Nashville in February when her character was killed in a scary car accident. "It was just the right timing," she said of deciding to exit the series.
Check out the gallery to see more TV roles you had no idea were recast!