With a new hus­band and an even newer baby, cou­pled with a ma­jor role in hit TV drama Scan­dal, Kerry Wash­ing­ton is one busy lady

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV/PLAY - COLIN VICK­ERY

Scan­dal has been a game changer for Kerry Wash­ing­ton. The 37-year-old was best known for play­ing Ray Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robin­son, in the film Ray un­til Shonda Rhimes ( Grey’s Anatomy) stepped in.

In late 2011, Rhimes chose Wash­ing­ton to play cri­sis ex­pert Olivia Pope in Scan­dal – the first African Amer­i­can ac­tor to lead a net­work drama in nearly 40 years.

Three se­ries in and Scan­dal is a hit with more than 10 mil­lion view­ers in the US each week. Last year, she was named Woman of the Year by Glam­our mag­a­zine and TV Star of the Year by TV Guide.

The Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Ac­tors Guild nom­i­na­tions have come thick and fast and there was univer­sal ac­claim for her role as Broomhilda von Shaft in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Un­chained.

Wash­ing­ton’s per­sonal life has changed, too. She mar­ried NFL foot­baller Nnamdi Aso­mugha in June last year. In April, she gave birth to daugh­ter Is­abelle.

Wash­ing­ton is sur­pris­ingly un­af­fected by the whirl­wind. That is be­cause she is too darn busy to take it all in.

“I feel very lucky be­cause it has been such a wave of change but most of the time I’m too stressed about the mono­logue that I have to mem­o­rise for to­mor­row (on Scan­dal) to re­ally get caught up in it,” Wash­ing­ton says.

“When you do a film, you’re very aware of the pub­lic re­sponse. But when you’re do­ing tele­vi­sion, you’re so busy do­ing the show that it is harder to get caught up in that stuff.”

The third se­ries of Scan­dal started with a bang – the fall­out from Olivia’s af­fair with mar­ried US Pres­i­dent Fitzger­ald Grant (Tony Gold­wyn) go­ing pub­lic – and hasn’t let up. Business at Olivia Pope & As­so­ciates dried up. Olivia’s es­tranged fa­ther Rowan Pope (Joe Mor­ton) has been re­vealed as the ruth­less head of the covert gov­ern­ment agency B613.

Mean­while, her mother, Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexan­der), thought to have died in a plane crash when Olivia was 12, is back, very much alive.

Olivia has been try­ing to un­cover the truth be­hind the mys­te­ri­ous Op­er­a­tion Rem­ing­ton in a year filled with rev­e­la­tions, be­trayal and even tor­ture.

“It is all so com­pli­cated,” Wash­ing­ton laughs.

“It is great to see Olivia nav­i­gate through all th­ese things. Shonda says she likes to write flawed char­ac­ters be­cause the re­al­ity is that we are all flawed. What she means is that she writes real peo­ple – peo­ple who are three­d­i­men­sional, fully re­alised hu­man be­ings – and that is a joy for any ac­tor. Our big­gest hope and dream for the show is that peo­ple will have as much fun watch­ing it as we’re hav­ing mak­ing it be­cause it’s a dream job.”

Kerry Wash­ing­ton plays Olivia Pope in


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