The smartly-written ABC seriesÂ starring Kerry Washington has much of America itching for season two (Who is Quinn??). Until then, the 35-year-old actress has been making her rounds promoting the show and her latest movie, Django Unchained.
Washington sat down with VH1’s Morning Buzz to discuss being a Black female lead on a network television drama, playing the real Olivia PopeÂ (Judy Smith) and the biggest “scandal” of her career.
On playing Judy Smith, the real-life Olivia
“Itâ€™s not the first time I played a real person. I played Mrs. Ray Charles and I played Idi Aminâ€™s wife in Last King of Scotland, but this is the first time Iâ€™m playing someone that could really destroy my life. She could like, destroy my reputation and ensure I never work again, cause sheâ€™s a fixer. She fixes things, so thatâ€™s where the pressure is.
I call her all the time for her input and feedback. I can call her on her cell, but she never tells me where she is.Â […] IfÂ I hear thereâ€™s a scandal in Texas or in Paris, Iâ€™ll be like â€˜Where are you Judy?â€™ and sheâ€™s like â€˜I canâ€™t tell you Kerry.â€™ Itâ€™s very scandalous.”
On being involved in a scandal…
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 doesnâ€™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 Iâ€™d ever stolen anything and I said â€˜No of course not.â€™ And he was like â€˜Well you have to steal something, donâ€™t come back to do the movie until youâ€™ve stolen something.â€™ 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 too, I liked every minute of it. But when the movie was over I went back and paid for it. I gave her 75 cents and she was like â€˜Whatâ€™s that for?â€™ and I was like â€˜donâ€™t worry, I just owe you.â€™”