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Style & Design

Emmy winner Dan Bucatinsky on his 'Scandal' costumes and his naked fight scene

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Image Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images

At last night’s Creative Arts Emmys, Dan Bucatinsky won an Emmy for his guest role as James Novak in Scandal. The show’s costume design department can take part of the credit for that win; Bucatinsky said his Scandal wardrobe played a part in helping him get into character.

“I love what I get to wear on that show. [Costume designer Lyn Paolo] has an unbelievable eye and has managed to create an aspirational quality with great clothes,” Bucatinsky — who looked dapper in the Dogtooth Jacquard tuxedo from Alexander McQueen — told EW on the red carpet. “I think we’re the best dressed actors on television.” (EW agrees — the ABC series made our list of the 20 most stylish TV shows of all-time.)

In one of his most talked-about Scandal scenes — which takes place during the episode that was submitted for Emmy consideration — Bucatinsky wore nothing but his birthday suit. The naked argument between James and Cyrus (Jeff Perry), which the actor described as “probably the scariest thing I’ve had to do as an actor so far,” proves that it’s not just the clothes that make the character.

“It was an unbelievable year where this character was not only becoming a dad but becoming a journalist again. I think there’s an underdog quality to James and something very tumultuous but very believable about the marriage of Cyrus and James,” Bucatinsky told EW. “And then you get to act the kind of scenes that we got to act this season that are basically one-act plays in the middle of an episode. The one that was submitted for the Emmy where we’re having a five and a half page knock-down, drag-out fight completely naked is the first time a scene like that’s been played on television. I feel really lucky that I got to act the scenes that I did with an actor as talented and inspiring as Jeff Perry.”

Naked fights aside, Bucatinsky said there is an endless array of clothing options available to outfit the Scandal cast.

“There are a lot of [costume] changes, more than [the audience] probably realizes,” said. “If you were to actually count how many changes Olivia Pope has in an episode, I think people would be astounded.”

Scandal‘s third season premieres Thursday, Oct 3 on ABC. The 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will air on FXX this Saturday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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