Shonda Rhimes: 'I Knew I Really Wanted to Try This Business When...'

Even the queen of primetime needs to get inspiration from somewhere!

Taylor Lewis Feb, 19, 2015

Before she was the queen of primetime, before she had three hit television shows, Shonda Rhimes was simply a young woman with a dream. And you’ll never believe what gave her the push she needed to pursue her dreams.

“For me, the moment I really knew that I wanted to try this business was when I saw Whoopi Goldberg live on Broadway,” Rhimes said, referring to her special, Direct from Broadway. “I taped it on my VHS. I watched it a thousand times. When my dad accidentally taped over it with a football game, I must’ve cried for days.”

You could say that Whoopi’s portrayal inspired the Olivia Pope that we’ve come to know and love.

“It was a really pivotal moment for me,” she said. “It was the first time I had seen an African-American woman play that many characters and be that complex, and it felt very possible.”