[INTERVIEW] 'Scandal' Star<br />
Columbus Short Talks Season 2, Shonda Rhimes and His Best Roles<br />

Columbus Short 

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Emmy. But I think it's as good of a show as any others [being considered].

EBONY: The season finale was the seventh episode. Why do you think it was such a short first season?

CS: I think initially Shonda thought, with it being such a new show, "I'm approaching this like a British miniseries [with only seven episodes]. I'm not going to count my eggs before they hatch." So she just made seven non-stop, high-octane episodes. She told me – and I believe it – she has 100 episodes in her head already. But just in case, the season was able to tell a complete story. It has a beginning, middle and end, even though there are some cliffhangers left for next season.

EBONY: There are [some deaths] in the season finale. Are these characters gone for certain?

CS: Shonda does things interestingly. A friend of mine, Jeffrey Dean Morgan [who played Denny on “Grey's Anatomy” had an arc on (the show) and he died, but when Shonda's involved, if she loves you and she wants you around, she will flashback, she will dream sequence, you never know how she'll keep you on the show.

EBONY:In the past, you were very much a choreographer and even choreographed a tour for Britney Spears. Do you see yourself getting back into that in the future? 

CS: I haven't figure out how I would do that. I haven't thought about or really done that in seven or eight years, so I don't know. But I never say never to anything. [Choreographer] Kenny Ortega is doing some wonderful things [in the business] and the tools in your bag you never throw away.

EBONY: I also read that your family is very environmentally conscious. How did that passion for the environment come about?

CS: I don't know if it was an epiphany or anything like that. I've always been very conscious about global warming and recently I was watching HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher and the president of GM was literally denying the existence of global warming. It's a real problem.

The fact that my [seven-year-old] son goes to a wonderful private school that is Eco-conscious-- it's just great to see a young man so about it. [At home] we do use recyclable bags and eco-friendly shampoos and the soaps and cleaning supplies. And one family, one person at the time, we can reverse the speed of global warming.

EBONY: You were hilarious in “Death at a Funeral” and riveting in “Cadillac Records”. Now you're going to be playing a villain in your upcoming film “The Girl is in Trouble”. You've been able to play a lot of very different characters on film.  What's your dream role?

CS: I want to play Martin Luther King. That is absolutely a role and a character who is important to the landscape of the world that I really want to play.

EBONY: The man or the legend?

CS: I want to play the truth of him. You've got to be honest with yourself aesthetically about who could you play. You want to artistically be true to that character. I want to  gain 35 lbs and play the truth, physically and truth emotionally about what it was to be that man, both the negative and the positive. I think showing heroes as fallible helps us and reminds us that we are ourselves fallible and no man is perfect but we can still achieve great things.

EBONY: What's a role of yours that you feel is the most underrated?

CS: “Armored”(laughs)

EBONY: Why “Armored?”

CS: Because I loved that movie. It didn't do that well in the Box Office but the character was so complex. In whatever roles I undertake, I try to dissect it and find the humanity there, and that role gave me a lot to work with.

EBONY: What do you hope your legacy will be?

CS: That's a good question. First, as far as my career, I was watching [Oprah Winfrey's] Master Class with Morgan Freeman and I saw how he contributed great things to both film and television, so that would be great. But also having a name will provide for me to do the philanthropy work that's important to me. It actually take the name sometimes to help people hear and a known voice for people to actually listen.  So I hope I was an advocate for change and growth and evolution of mankind.

Otherwise, I'm taking it day by day and letting the chips fall where they may.

Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog http://www.dcdistrictdiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @DCDistrictDiva.