Kerry Washington has her seat at the table on Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” in which she’s a lead actor and executive producer with co-star Reese Witherspoon.
“When I was a kid I wasn’t like, ‘I want to be a producer one day!’ But I think I have always been — my mother would vouch for this — a person with a lot of opinions and a person who’s wanted to contribute to the environments that I’m in,” she told Variety during her cover story photo shoot. “I’ve always wanted to be able to share my perspective and have a seat at the table and have a voice in the process, and producing allows me to do that.”
In the upcoming miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by Celeste Ng, she plays Mia Warren, a lower-class mother who works as a maid for the wealthy, upper-class Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Warren isn’t specified as African-American in the book, but Washington saw it as an opportunity to add depth to the character.
“You have a sense that she is other. It’s very specific that she’s of a different socio-economic class, kind of a less traditional life where she isn’t afraid to break rules and be her own person. I think it added a great deal of complexity and detail to the character,” she said. “I’m really grateful to our writers’ room. We had a massively diverse writers’ room where we had lots of women of color, and all different colors. We were really able to unpack what it would mean for Mia to be black and how that would impact the story.”