'Scandal' Star Darby Stanchfield to Direct Final Season Episode (Exclusive)

Darby Stanchfield, 'Scandal' (ABC)
Joe Pugliese

Career changer: "Scandal definitely changed things. People recognize me in the grocery store, and I'm employed 10 months out of the year."

Scandal star Darby Stanchfield is not letting Scandal end without stepping behind the camera.

The actress is set to direct her first episode of the ABC political thriller. An episode date has not yet been determined, though it will be later in the season.

"I'm incredibly honored and grateful that Shonda Rhimes has invited me to direct an episode of Scandal," the actress behind Abby told THR. "This is a rare opportunity in the industry, but at Shondaland, it's yet another proof point that sets them apart as innovators. Last year, I shadowed our [now former] producing director Tom Verica, sat in on editing sessions, asked questions and absorbed as much as I could from our amazing crew. Shortly after, Shonda allowed me to direct a Scandal digital series for the ABC website, and after that wonderful experience, I feel prepared and excited to take on this next step."

The actress has been shadowing star and frequent Scandal director Tony Goldwyn as she prepares to direct her first episode of television. She previously helmed the six-episode web series Scandal: Gladiator Wanted, which featured co-stars Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes and Cornelius Smith Jr.

"Our goal at Shondaland is to hire the best people and then keep them here, but in order to do that, we need to create opportunities for them to grow," Rhimes told THR at the time. "They have to continue learning and doing what they're passionate about — whether they are an actor that wants to learn how to direct or a PA that wants to take the next step. We love watching them grow and succeed and this web series was the perfect way to do just that."

Many Shondaland stars also direct, including Scandal's Goldwyn and Scott Foley as well as Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd, Chandra Wilson and Ellen Pompeo, who made her directorial debut in the show's 13th season. Many of Shondaland's stars also have producing deals, including Pompeo, Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, with Foley and Dan Bucatinsky also serving as prolific developers.