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Eye on Emmy: For Kerry Washington, Scandal's 'Level of Excellence' Astounds on a Daily Basis
Photo Credit: TV Line

Eye on Emmy: For Kerry Washington, Scandal's 'Level of Excellence' Astounds on a Daily Basis

Jun 12 2013, 9:10am CDT | by

Looking for a female TV character who’s as fierce in her work life as she is in her (messy) love life? It’s been handled. As D.C. “fixer” Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, Kerry Washington — building...

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1 year ago

Eye on Emmy: For Kerry Washington, Scandal's 'Level of Excellence' Astounds on a Daily Basis

Jun 12 2013, 9:10am CDT | by

Kerry Washington Scandal Emmys 2013

Looking for a female TV character who’s as fierce in her work life as she is in her (messy) love life? It’s been handled. As D.C. “fixer” Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, Kerry Washington — building on a career that has included Oscar-winning films such as Ray and Django Unchained — stands in the eye of a pop culture storm, fronting a show that drops jaws with astounding frequency, makes Twitter all atwitter and offers, at long last, a chance for a black woman to win a lead drama actress Emmy.

RELATED | Emmys 2013: The Drama Series Race in Review, Including Our 6 Dream Nominees

TVLINE | You’ve said that your decision was not so much to do TV, but to do a Shonda Rhimes show.
Even more so, my decision was to do this show. When I read the script, I was so blown away. And knowing that this [was a Rhimes production] reinforced the idea that this could be a really amazing opportunity./>

TVLINE | With your first full season behind you, how has the product met the promise?
Gosh…. I will just say that the level of excellence that the people around me produce on a daily basis continues to astound me — the writing that I’m able to hold in my hands week after week, the level of acting I’m surrounded by. Every member of crew, the cinematographers, the costume design…. All of it feels like a magical product to be a part of./>

TVLINE | What do you think Shonda is doing that activates viewers so much?
One of the reasons we [on the cast] like to live-tweet the show is because when we are online with our “gladiators,” the viewers, we get to see from them exactly what we went through at our table reads. We have gasps and screams and cries of shock and awe, and weeks later the audience is having the same reactions. People are responding to how unpredictable this show is. [Also,] Shonda is not writing the typical archetype of good guy/bad guy; that is part of why you never know whom to trust./>

RELATED | Scandal Season 3 Scoop on a ‘Fallen’ Gladiator

TVLINE | After the election-rigging was revealed to President Grant, Olivia succumbed to multiple and varying degrees of breakdowns. Is it somewhat of an actor’s dream to tear a character down and build them up again?
That duality, being able to figure out how to play a character who can be so fierce in one setting and so vulnerable in another, is a challenge. But it’s an exciting one.scandal_0207_olitz_dw/>

TVLINE | Did you by chance take issue with the message the show put out there this season, that love should be “painful, difficult and devastating”?
I struggled with that line. I remember asking Shonda, “Are all of those words exactly what we want to be saying?” I was sort of on board with some of them, but not sure about others. She was like, “Yep,” so I just had to wrap my head around that./>

TVLINE | Some choose to view your success through the lens of being among the first African-American actresses to star in a hit TV drama. Do you lament there is still that distinction to be made, in 2013? Or do you welcome the opportunity to flag it?
It’s a balance. Like I said in [a New York Times] interview, I feel very proud that we live in a world where this show can be a success, so I think it’s worth noting the progress of that, for all of us to claim and all of us to take responsibility for. We’ve created a place where a black woman can be at the front of the show, but a lot of our success is in how strong of an ensemble show it is, that so many people can see themselves in it. We have a lead male who’s Latin. We have two black men. There’s older people, there’s younger people. There’s a strong gay character. I look forward to the day when a show like Scandal is a success and it’s not newsworthy. We’re not there yet, but we’ll get there./>

TVLINE | Do you think about the significance of possibly earning an Emmy for this role?
I’ve been on the award campaign train several times in my career, with the success of The Last King of Scotland and Ray and Django [Unchained]…. Jamie Foxx and I joke about it, what happens to people when they’re “chasing Oscar.” So, I try not to think about my work leaning toward that goal. But it’s interesting that television and the Emmys have been around this long, and [a black woman winning Lead Actress in a Drama] has never happened. I mean, I was just beginning to have a career when Halle Berry [won an Oscar for Best Actress] — and not just [as the first] black woman, but a woman of color./>

TVLINE | Over the past year, you’ve been out there significantly engaging in the real world’s political conversation….
What’s funny is that I’ve always done that kind of work. Tony Goldwyn and I used to trek through the Hall of Congress asking for or defending funding for National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities, with organizations like Americans for the Arts and the Creative Coalition…./>

TVLINE | But now you’re speaking at the Democratic National Convention and being cut to for reaction shots at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Right. Right. I just think it’s important for me to be clear that I don’t engage politically because I’m in the public eye. I actually made a promise to myself early on that I would not stop because I was in the public eye, because I feel like it’s my responsibility as an American to be engaged. If my participation encourages other people to participate, no matter what party, I’m glad. America works when all of us have a seat at the table./>

RELATED | What Happens Next: On Scandal , Will Olivia’s Pop Get Quizzed? And Who Tattled?

TVLINE | Your college major combined theater with anthropology and sociology. How did that inform your skill set?Scandal_Olivia_Cyrus
My mother’s a professor, so the idea of research is something that I grew up around. One of the things I love most about acting are those moments, that don’t happen every day, when you really, truly do something raw in a moment and you forget who you are. When you in the moment disconnect to the extent that you go into an alternate reality. When that happens, it’s bliss. The other thing that I really love is the research — pulling articles, learning things, interviewing people and then you study, study, study, from an anthropological perspective. [In] preparation for [Season 1's] “The Trail,” Tony, Jeff [Perry] and I watched The War Room, that documentary with George Stephanopolous. I mean, we studied that. That’s the kind of stuff that I love./>

TVLINE | Is there an actor you looked up to as you embarked on your career?
The actors I that I loved — not even “looked up to,” because I didn’t think I was going to be an actor in any way — were the ones who did comedy and drama, people who worked on the stage and film and television. People like Julie Andrews, Rita Moreno, Diahann Carroll, Barbra Streisand, women who were never limited by just doing movies or just being actors. That’s been a part of their longevity./>

TVLINE | And if you could give Olivia Pope one piece of advice, what would it be?
I might refer her to a couple great therapists. [Laughs] I think Olivia does really well, but I wonder how things would be different if she had a really great shrink in her life. It would probably be a lot less interesting!/>

This story first appeared in the pages of TVLine’s print sibling Awards|Line. The specialty Awards|Line editions canvass various facets of the Emmy and motion pictures awards season including deep coverage, analysis and interviews with the leading contenders and industry players.


Source: TV Line

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1 week ago

There Truly Is No Place Like Homeland

Oct 8 2014 3:25pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Ever since Homeland premiered, fans of Showtime's extraordinary gem have been dying to say it "Jumped The Shark." This isn't really surprising -- since thanks to the internet everyone thinks their opinion matters. Unfortunately the world is filled with haters and followers and the minute anyone says anything negative, the rest of the sheep in this world can't wait to jump on board. Every show seems to "jump the shark" after the pilot thanks to twitt ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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2 weeks ago

The Real-Life 'Olivia Pope' Got Pranked By George H.W. Bush

Sep 29 2014 5:46pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Former President George H.W. Bush -- a known prankster -- pulled a fast one on the real-life Washington fixer who inspired ABC's hit "Scandal." As anyone who's a "Scandal" fanatic knows, Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) is involved in a complicated and steamy love affair with President Fitzgerald Grant III (Tony Goldwyn). Pope, the show's main character, was inspired by Judy Smith, a real-life crisis management e ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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3 weeks ago

5 things to remember from 'Scandal' season 3

Sep 25 2014 2:04pm CDT | Source: USATODAY

Your season three catch up is so totally handled.       Related StoriesEllen Page, Kate Mara are the latest 'True Detective' stars – um, sort of'South Park' makes Redskins owner Dan Snyder cryFinally! A photo of Kerry Washington and her hubby to ...
Source: USATODAY  Full article at: USATODAY
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Liv's Return, an "Idealistic" Fitz and 5 More Teases About Scandal Season 4

Sep 24 2014 6:31pm CDT | Source: TV Guide

Where in the world is Olivia Pope lounging on the beach? Last we saw our favorite fixer on Scandal, she had extricated herself and Jake (Scott Foley) from Shondaland's messy D.C. world following the death of Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Mellie's (Bellamy Young) son Jerry. Little does anyone know, it was Rowan (Joe Morton) — not Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) — who was behind Jerry's death, so that Fitz could win re-election and re-appoin ...
Source: TV Guide   Full article at: TV Guide
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Ellen Pompeo, Viola Davis And Kerry Washington Are Just As Badass As Their Characters

Sep 24 2014 4:11pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

For the few who haven't heard, Shonda Rhimes is pretty damn awesome. She's a screenwriter/director, was named one of TIME's most influential people in 2013 and owns her own production company. And the actresses she employs are not far behind. On Thursday, Sept. 25, Rhimes' "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" return to TV with her newest show "How To Get Away With Murder," premiering directly after. Thanks to R ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Kerry Washington Takes On Jimmy Fallon In Most Scandalous 'Box Of Lies' Ever

Sep 24 2014 12:24pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Jimmy Fallon may have been in way over his head. On Tuesday night, Kerry Washington took on Fallon in "Box of Lies," a game in which one contestant tries to fool the other about the contents of their mystery box. When it comes to political missteps, Washington's "Scandal" character can bend the truth however she wants, but what about when it comes to pumpkins full of spaghetti? "The Tonight Show Starring ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Kerry Washington Is Even More Obsessed With 'Game Of Thrones' Than You Are

Sep 24 2014 9:43am CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Where is Olivia Pope? She's probably at home binge-watching "Game of Thrones." On Tuesday's "Tonight Show," Kerry Washington revealed to Jimmy Fallon that she's completely obsessed with "GoT." The "Scandal" actress said her parents are huge fans, and she started watching the show to make fun of them but immediately got hooked. Washington has even taken her obsession to extremes, making a "GoT"-themed dinner for her mom ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Exclusive Scandal Video: Olivia Confronts a Broken Mellie in Deleted Scene

Sep 23 2014 9:52am CDT | Source: TV Guide

Olivia can't fix everything on Scandal.In the exclusive deleted scene below from the Season 3 DVD, we see that before Liv (Kerry Washington) ordered Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) to "fix your family" for their big TV interview in "Mama Said Knock You Out," she first approaches ... Read More > Other Links From ...
Source: TV Guide   Full article at: TV Guide
 

 
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4 weeks ago

Returning Favorites: Inside Scandal's Shocking New Season

Sep 17 2014 6:00am CDT | Source: TV Guide

On a Wednesday afternoon in late August, Kerry Washington's shih tzu-Yorkie mix, Josie, is napping contentedly on a Hollywood soundstage sofa as her Emmy-nominated owner gets back to the business of being scandalous. Clad in her character Olivia Pope's trademark Armani, Washington is...well, we can't tell you what she's doing, who she's doing it with, or even where they're doing it. If we did, Scandal creator and executive producer Shonda Rh ...
Source: TV Guide   Full article at: TV Guide
 

 
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4 weeks ago

Kerry Washington Sheds Light On An Invisible Kind Of Domestic Abuse

Sep 16 2014 8:08am CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Kerry Washington wants to keep the conversation about domestic violence going. On Monday, the Emmy-nominated actress spoke out about an often-overlooked reason why women stay in abusive relationships: financial abuse. "It's the reason why so many people stay," she said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "That whole hashtag #WhyIStayed that happened last week, you saw how many of those responses were about feeling trapped financi ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

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