Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC

Scandal‘s Mellie Grant — first lady, wronged wife, grieving mother, leader of the free world — can be steely, ambitious, infuriating and vulnerable, sometimes in a single speech.

Bellamy Young, who plays the ex-FLOTUS turned into POTUS, reveals she and Mellie are actually not alike at all in PEOPLE’s All Seven Seasons of Scandal special edition.

Bellamy Young
| Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

“I couldn’t be any less like Mellie,” says Young, 48. “To play her has changed me — it really has.”


Young describes herself as a second-guesser, and as someone who is always trying to make sure everyone in a room is comfortable and happy. Mellie, on the other hand, “is so grounded and doesn’t care what your personal journey is,” she says.

Earlier this month, the actress said she’s hoping for a Scandal movie on Steve Harvey‘s eponymous talk show, Steve.

“It started out as such a small part — I could never dream it would turn into the ride it did,” she says. “I know she’s fictional, but I feel like Mellie has dreamed of being president since she was in diapers. Sometimes I get really overcome — I’m so happy for her.”

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.