One on One with Kerry Washington

Categories // LA Focus, One On One Wednesday, 06 April 2016

One on One with Kerry Washington

New York Native Kerry Washington has come a long way since her 2000 debut in the independent film “Our Song”. With her starring role as Olivia Pope in the hit ABC drama, “Scandal”, she became the first African American woman to headline a network TV show since the 1974 short-lived series “Get Christie Love”. In 2013, Washington earned her first primetime Emmy nomination and in 2014, Time Magazine named her as one of the “Most Influential People in the World”.

Now, Washington is executive producing as well as starring as Anita Hill in the upcoming HBO project, “Confirmation”.

Q: What made you so interested in Anita Hill and and telling her story?
A: It was a huge topic of conversation at home, a very complicated issue.I saw the documentary Anita about two years ago, and it made me think 'What else is there? What else is in that story?While peeling through the layers of this case I discovered one thing to be true -- someone had to be telling the truth, it was just a matter of who that person was.

Q:How important are the events that inspired “Confirmation”
A:This moment was so important because it crea- ted a language around women being able to pro- tect themselves. The behavior Anita Hill des- cribed was going on in a lot of offices throughout the country and most people didn't think they were doing anything wrong. But this created awareness around the need for women's voices to be heard in our public spaces, both testifying before Congress and sitting on the committee. It really was such a huge cultural shift.

Q: How do you stay so true to your beliefs?

A:"I'm a person who's always been politically active and passionate about people's rights. I marched against the [2004] Republican Convention. And as my career has expanded, it's been important for me to not stifle that voice. Because you want to be popular, you want people to hire you, and I have to make sure I don't do it less because I'm an actor.

Q:How did playing Olivia Poe on “Scandal” make you feel ready to be a mom?
A:Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom. Because she knows there's always another way—there's always a way to fix it, there's always a way to solve it, to win. And I feel like playing her made me feel like, All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.

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