Kerry Washington Talks Pressures Of Historic Role on “Scandal”
Kerry Washington spoke with VH1′s Morning Buzz to discuss her role on the ABC drama, Scandal. As previously noted, Kerry is the first Black actress to have a lead role in a broadcast television show in three decades. Washington talks about that feat as well as whether or not there’s ever been any scandal in her own life.
On being the first African American woman to have a leading role in a network TV drama in more than 30 years
In all fairness, there are people who have really been bringing it on cable. People like Regina King, Jill Scott, Jada Pinkett. On network TV, the kind of TV that is in everybody’s houses, it’s been a long time.
On if she feels any pressure
I don’t really feel pressure to kind of uphold anything for history, but I feel like the pressures on the American people. Do we have the courage to tune in and think about our hero’s, our protagonist in a more inclusive way? Not everyone on TV has to look one way. We all have stories that deserve to be told and everyone has a place and seat at the table in our storytelling on TV and in film, so I feel like the pressures on you guys, not on me. But listen it’s working, you guys all tuned in and got us a second season.
On the biggest scandal Kerry has been involved in:
I try to stay pretty scandal free. I like to say the only drama in my life is the drama I get paid for. I try to keep it that way. It doesn’t always work out but I try to keep it that way. I guess I was doing this movie Lift once, my first professional lead role, and I was playing a shoplifter, a professional booster, and the director was asking if I’d ever stolen anything and I said ‘No of course not’ and he was like ‘Well you have to steal something, don’t come back to do the movie until you’ve stolen something.’ I went to a deli in midtown Manhattan, I still get heart palpitations when I drive by this deli, and I stole an apple. I was traumatized, but it was a really good apple to, I liked every minute of it. But when the movie was over I went back and paid for it! I gave her 75cent and she was like ‘What’s that for?’ and I was like ‘don’t worry, I just owe you.’