from “Mad About You” New York Post
The element of surprise is off the charts. At the end of an episode you think: Did that really happen? Did the president of the United States really murder a Supreme Court justice in her hospital bed by cutting off her oxygen supply?
“I was totally shocked,” says Goldwyn of the day he read that script. “I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know about the murder. I didn’t know I was going to tell Olivia I didn’t want to see her anymore. I almost couldn’t get the words out of my mouth at the table read. My brain short-circuited. I could not figure out where Fitz was coming from. It was so upsetting. I started breaking into a sweat.”
Goldwyn’s experience with “Scandal” reminds him of his time making the 1990 blockbuster “Ghost,” where he had his breakout role as Carl, who first sets up the murder of his best friend (Patrick Swayze) and then moves in on his grieving girlfriend (Demi Moore).
“No one saw ‘Ghost’ coming at all,” he says. “People would ask me ‘Is it “Ghost Dad”?,’ which was the Cosby movie that tanked. Patrick had been in a couple of movies that flopped and Whoopi Goldberg had been in a couple of movies that flopped and people knew who Demi Moore was, but not really. And then audiences discovered it and then bam.
“The whole thing was magic, and the fact that it turned into a hit was unbelievable,” he says.“ ‘Scandal’ is the same thing. We knew it was good but it took awhile for audiences to discover it.”
When Goldwyn was cast in “Ghost,” actors could not move back and forth between TV and film. He had guest-starred on “St. Elsewhere,” and “LA Law,” and played one of the first gay characters on TV in Linda Bloodworth- Thomason’s “Designing Women.”
But movies were out of his reach, until his wife, Jane Musky, a successful production designer (“When Harry Met Sally”) got the job on the “Ghost.”
Musky and Goldwyn have been married 26 years and have two daughters. She played an instrumental role in his career. “She kept telling me that the role had not been filled, and that I had to keep calling my agent,” he says. “Her career was such a success, it was like a fire under my butt. So I thought I had better step up.”
He had been feeling that his whole life — the pressure to maintain the family legacy.
Tony is a Goldwyn. As in Metro-Goldwyn -Mayer.
His grandfather is the legendary Hollywood pioneer Samuel Goldwyn, who fled Warsaw, Poland, on foot to escape czarist tyranny, and came to America. He owned a glove factory before he got into the film business, eventually moving to California to become one of the original moviemakers.
“I was born when he was 80, and he lived until I was 14,” says Goldwyn. “I knew him as a grandfather, not as a Hollywood mogul.
“His career spanned from 1912 to 1959: That is a 50-year career,” Goldwyn says. “When you look at the history of all those guys, most of them had a decade when they were predominant. Even Louis B. Mayer, who had a long run, washed out in the mid-’50s. He and my grandfather couldn’t stand each other. And it was to my grandfather’s great glory that he outlasted him. He really was an extraordinary man.”
His other grandfather, Sidney Howard, won a Pulitzer Prize in drama in 1925 for his play “They Knew What They Wanted” and a posthumous Best Screenplay Academy Award for “Gone With the Wind.” His father, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. (“Mystic Pizza”; “The Preacher’s Wife”), is a producer.
“I was proud of what my grandfather and my dad and my mother’s father had done — and the legacy — but at the same time there was a lot of pressure on me which I did not like. I did not like having a famous last name. It was annoying — Oh, Tony Goldwyn from MGM!
“When I decided to be an actor I didn’t want to be perceived as just a Hollywood brat. A dilettante. The bar was pretty high. So I knew I’d better get this right.”
And so he has, and as fans await the latest installment of the Fitz and Olivia saga, one thing is clear — it is never going to end.
“They belong together,” says Goldwyn.
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