"And so I start, and right away I can feel that I'm getting warm and blushing. About halfway through the audition, I'm red, and I'm sweating a little bit and I thought, 'It's OK, it's happened before, just make your way through it.'
"I got a couple more sentences in when Mimi Leder said, 'I have to stop you right now.'
"And sometimes directors will do that. They'll stop you and say, 'You're going in the wrong direction' or 'Try it another way.' But it's rare for them to stop you right in the middle. So I said, 'OK, what's going on?' And she said, 'I need you to sit down. I'm afraid you're going to pass out.'
"And I tried to joke about it: 'No, no! I just, uh -- I'm not nervous! I just start to sweat and blush, but let me keep going.'
"After that, I lost my (cool) completely in this meeting. I couldn't find the words. I started stammering. I'm thinking, 'Oh God, she did 'ER,' and I loved 'ER'! And now she's doing these big films!' Every single thing you're not supposed to think when you're doing an audition, I thought it.
"But I kept going. And then she stopped me again: 'Scott?' And I just looked at her and said, 'Yeah, I know.' And she sort of nodded her head, and I nodded my head back and I left the room -- and that was the last time I've ever seen Mimi Leder!"
IN HINDSIGHT ...
"At this point now, 15 years later and having been a director and producer who has been on the other side of it in the casting room, you see some amazing things. People break down and crash. It's crazy. So I can only imagine that as soon as my reading started, they were thinking, 'What the hell is happening?' They let it go on for a certain period of time, I think, out of kindness.
"But it is one of those moments that I will never forget. Even now it still happens. We had a table read at 'Scandal' the other day, and some of the stage directions in 'Scandal' include songs and usually the group will sing them, but nobody knew these songs except for me! So I found myself singing alone to this Michael McDonald song 'What a Fool Believes' in Michael McDonald's voice, and Kerry Washington just turned and looked at me. I was like, 'How red am I?' and she was like, 'You're red.'
"It's embarrassment-blush. It's 'Oh my God, I'm getting all this attention when I don't know if I should be getting this attention' blush. It's the same thing when people sing 'Happy Birthday' to me: Oh, it's attention I shouldn't be getting right now!