Kerry Washington has skyrocketed to the top of the acting totem pole and has opened up about her emotional journey taking on racially charged scenes in “Django” and how she fell in love with her character in “Scandal.”
Kerry may play a “gladiator in a suit” on ABC’s “Scandal” but in real life she admitted her emotions got the best of her when filming “Django Unchained.”
In an interview with Parade Magazine Washington admitted that taking on the role of such a racially charged character was a difficult task and in the end it took a major psychological toll on her.
“I feel like I barely survived Django emotionally,” she told the magazine. “The violence, hearing the N-word every day. It cost me a lot psychologically, but it was worth it to tell that story.”
Of course, with Kerry breaking down many racial barriers in her acting career it was nothing new for her to be tackling race issues in a film.
Her lead role in the popular TV serial “Scandal” has earned the Olivia Pope actress a place in the history books.
The 36-year-old award winning actress is the first African American woman to lead a network drama in almost 40 years.
The world was certainly taking note of her accomplishment, but as far as she was concerned she was simply taking on the role of a character she loved.
“I didn’t realize… when auditioning for the role,” she admitted. “I knew that in my lifetime I’d never seen it. But it didn’t compute to me that I’d be making history. I just fell in love with the character.”
The lead role proved that Kerry definitely had a thing for characters who push the boundaries of what’s possible.
“The story line… push what’s possible,” she told the magazine when asked about the dysfunctional Washington D.C that is portrayed in the series. “But there are stories on the news that change what we think is possible all the time. You hear about a governor who’s disappeared into the Appalachian trial because he has a South American lover, or somebody else’s behavior on Twitter. I mean, if you want to look at presidents having affairs – there are about four I can think of off the top of my head.”
Earlier this year Kerry opened up about how she would have passed up the role if the president was played by a black actor because of the controversy it might have stirred with President Barack Obama – because people are just dying for any reason to believe he is actually caught up in a political scandal.
Surprisingly, however, she doesn’t really want to know the president’s opinion about the show.
“I haven’t wanted to ask the president his opinion of the show,” she explained. “But I have lots of friends in the administration who love it. We make D.C look sexy and exciting.”
“Sexy and exciting” is certainly right.
Well with “Scandals” success it is almost certain that we’ll be seeing Kerry Washington taking over ABC and our Twitter feeds every Thursday for quite some time.