As First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC's Emmy-winning drama Scandal, Bellamy Young resists playing the victim. In spite of her husband's indiscretions, Mellie is more Lady Macbeth than put-upon-housewife. Born in North Carolina and educated at Yale, Scandal is not Young's first hit television show. Before marrying the fictitious President, Young starred on Scrubs, Dirty Sexy Money, and Criminal Minds. We asked the actress to share the 10 things she "just can't live without."
Animals: If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that if anything furry, feathered, or scaled is in the room, I am going to need to touch it. I may need to be stopped from taking it home, feeding it too much, and spoiling it shamelessly. This includes raccoons and barracudas. I am incorrigible. And unrepentant.
Mountains: I long to be safe in the embrace of mountains; I feel so exposed on a plain or at the beach. Nestle me gently in the woodsy arms of a mountainside, preferably beside a waterfall, and I am in heaven.
Music: Music is my true solace. Alpha and omega of catharsis and inspiration, it transports me, it reveals me, it saves me time and again. Music is the greatest drug.
Story: I think one of the deepest human needs is to be heard. Be it through the construct of script, sculpture, dance, or more innocently—by the way we board a train, lift a child, sip tea, we are always telling our story. I live to listen and always marvel at the way truth reveals itself. Every moment, I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
Avocado toast: Simple pleasures are so often the best, and this one never fails to deliver. A gorgeous, hearty bread, a glowing avocado, the perfect olive oil, and a dash of a fabulous salt—what could be better?
Exploring: I love to get lost, because I love to find my way again. Whether it's hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains or navigating the winding streets of Kathmandu, I live for the adventure. Preferably on foot. Then you really own the victory, and you never forget the journey.
The New York Times Sunday crossword: It soothes me. And often amuses me. And always teaches me a little something. Combine this with a vanilla /sandalwood candle and Glenn Gould's Bach: 2 & 3 Part Inventions for the perfect cocktail of calm.
Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer Moisturizer: Been using it since college. Others? They come and go, but in this case, the oldie is definitely the goodie.
Meditation: Life is loud. At the end of each day, I have to sit quietly and release the cacophony of shoulds, musts, need-to's, and forgot-to's until I can hear that small but strong voice that is mine. I don't like to take the detritus of the day into my dreams.
Laughter: Ultimately, I think the most important thing in this life is laughter. It releases. It bonds. It heals. We laugh with each other and at ourselves, but fundamentally, laughter is a joyful forgiveness of our amusingly flawed humanity. We lift up that noise together and then we can all move on to whatever adventure is next.
I would chew my wrists to get her out of those damn Mellie wigs tbh