Scandal’s Kerry Washington: ‘My mother’s nightmare was for me to be a starving actress’November 30, 2020
She hit the big time playing the high-powered political fixer Olivia Pope. In real life, she has spent years campaigning for Kamala Harris and her fellow Democrats. So what’s someone who lives and breathes politics doing in Ryan Murphy’s musical The Prom?
In a rational world, somewhere deep in the Democratic National Committee headquarters, a small staff would be hard at work planning Kerry Washington’s presidential bid. “Washington 2028: Tough on Scandal” or “2032: Ms Kerry Goes to Washington” – the slogans just write themselves. Whether Washington could be persuaded to run for office is another matter. She is, she insists when we meet via a video call, too self-effacing for politics. “I feel you really have to decide that you’re the one, like: ‘I’m the one to solve this problem!’”
She is much more comfortable directing attention elsewhere. “For most of my career, I was really a character actor,” she says. “People didn’t connect that the girl from Ray was the same girl from Last King of Scotland, was the same girl from Save the Last Dance. And I loved that, because I got to disappear into these other people and it wasn’t about me.”