Kerry Washington does have a real life outside of her hit show Scandal, although she keeps it very, very quiet. She does admit to having a husband, former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha and daughter Isabelle, but you rarely see them. So when Washington admits she’s tired, it’s almost a confession.
“I partied at that SNL 40th Anniversary last night,” she says.”It was an honor to be there,” she says. Washington is part of a hilarious skit where she played every Black woman on TV, a gig booked well prior to her role on Scandal.
But back to the fictional realm, where Washington reigns as fixer Olivia Pope. Really, all we want to know is – Is Huck going to be OK?
“I cannot make any promises,” Washington says. “Anything is possible in television. “You’re going to have to tune in.”
And what role did Daddy Pope play in all this? Did he buy Olivia?
“What goes down with Olivia in the next episode was so shocking at the table read when we read it that I put my arms down and looked at Shonda [Rhimes] like mouth open, arms shrugged,” says Washington.
So could it be that is Harrison alive?
“I will neither confirm nor deny.”
But what she will say is that the next episode is “very important” to her and the one after that is very important from the perspective of a human being. Like Harrison maybe? Washington just laughs.
O.K so much for Scandal insights. As Washington says, its best just to tune in on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC of course.
Though Washington has been a pioneer as a Black female lead in prime-time. But she was followed by Viola Davis of How To Get Away With Murder, Gabrielle Union of Being Mary Jane, Nicole Beharie of Sleepy Hollow and Taraji P. Henson of the nascent hit Empire, among the many Black women prominently starring on TV this year. Washington applauds the change.
“It’s really exciting that the business of storytelling is beginning to understand that people respond to inclusivity. You don’t make a success of yourself by leaving people out. You don’t make a success of yourself by leaving people off the table. We are starting to see more diversity and it’s really great. It’s great for everybody. It’s great for Black people, it’s great for white people, it’s great for everybody.”
At one point, Washington could claim prime time to herself and all the attention and accolades that came with being on a major hit show. Though she’s starred in several movies and TV shows, Washington’s career blew up even bigger as Scandal became a fixture of must-see (and DVR, and tweet) TV. But if there’s more competition in the TV world, Washington believes that’s a boost for everyone.
“I don’t see it as competition. The tweets that warm my heart are the ones that their week is set up Being Mary Jane on Tuesday, Empire on Wednesday and How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal on Thursday. That’s how my DVR is set up. I think we support each other and I think we’re excited for one another and I’ve said from the beginning that when one of us has a success it makes room for more of us to have success. I don’t think of it as competition, I think of us as water rising together.”
Still, despite DVR, Scandal remains the kind of show that, as Washington says, If you don’t watch it live, someone is going to ruin it for you at work tomorrow.”
Washington says she herself has gotten behind on Scandal, maybe because she’s been in almost every scene of the show in th the last several weeks. If you’ve been watching then you know she’s been in peril for a minute now. But she has caught up with Empire and the other shows starring Black women.
“I was just blessed that Shonda Rhimes and her phenomenal team of writers that they write the material that I get to do every week. It’s not just that there are Black women on televison, it’s that there are Black women on television doing quality work. When I watch Taraji on Empire, she’s doing what she was born to be doing. The woman is an Oscar nominated actress but you watch this and you’re like this is it. Gabrielle Union is doing the best work of her career and I feel the same about Viola Davis. It’s good to be a Black girl on TV right now.”