Scandal’s Kerry Washington: ‘Playing Olivia Pope prepared me for motherhood’


Playing one of the most beloved TV characters of this generation on the hit show Scandal is all in a day’s work for Kerry Washington.

Olivia Pope is the stylish crisis manager around whom the hit political drama revolves. Faced with often insurmountable crises (which make for insanely good television), Olivia spends her downtime with a good glass of wine and popcorn as she ponders her current case and her constant dilemma of forbidden love.

In real life, however, Kerry’s style is more low-key but one thing that she and Olivia have in common is how much they value their privacy.

So it was a treat for fans to see her open up in the April issue of ELLE magazine.

In the cover story, she talks about how she balances her skyrocketing career with the bliss of being a mom to her nearly two-year-old daughter Isabelle.

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Kerry with husband football player Nnamdi Asomugha at the Vanity Fair Oscars 2016 party

“Olivia made me feel like a could be a mom….to juggle it all.”

“Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom,” said Kerry, touching upon one of the show’s most controversial episodes where Olivia decides to get an abortion.

“Because she knows there’s always another way—there’s always a way to fix it, there’s always a way to solve it, to win,” she continues. “And I feel like playing her made me feel like, All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.”

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One of the rare sightings of Kerry with 2-year-old daughter Isabelle (photo: Hollywood Life)

The brains behind the show is the incomparable Shonda Rhimes, who’s also created other hit shows such as ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (all helmed by complicated but powerful female leads).

Kerry, who considers Shonda her mentor, told Elle, “She’s been such an amazing resource, as a mom, and as a working mom. I am on one show and I have one kid, and she has three shows and three kids.”

No doubt we can look forward to seeing how motherhood enriches her career further as well as her status as a role model to many women, inspiring them to believe that they can truly have it all.

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