As Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes’ ABC drama “Scandal,” Kerry Washington is ready for whatever personal and political problems get thrown at her.
Her role as the president’s crisis manager draws Washington into some rather precarious situations, allowing her to showcase her acting chops as she spars with the onscreen commander-in-chief (Tony Goldwyn) and her character’s formidable father (Joe Morton).
The new mother, who welcomed daughter Isabelle in April after filming much of the show’s third season while concealing her baby bump, credits the “Scandal” writers with creating the role that has rendered her a smallscreen success and earned her Emmy and Globe noms.
“On different days, different things help me to tap into the character: the clothes, the set, the props, the walk,” she says. “But it always starts with the words on the page.”
Washington will receive the Women in Film Lucy Award for Excellence in Television on June 11 from her “Scandal” showrunner Rhimes, herself no stranger to multitasking.
“Kerry Washington was in Time’s 100 most talented in the world,” says WIF’s Cathy Schulman. “She’s everywhere, in memorable roles — ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Scandal’ — and reaching out to women and women of color.”
The thesp’s resume includes theater productions, miniseries and bigscreen titles, but Washington says there’s something about the TV format that allows her to combine elements of her other acting experiences when exploring characters like Pope.
“Acting for television allows me to embrace the things I love most about acting on the stage and acting in film. You have the opportunity to stay with a character and discover who they are over a long period of time, but with the intimacy of on camera work.”
As she gears up for the next season of “Scandal,” Washington is showing shows no sign of slowing down.