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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

#AskHerMore Encourages Reporters To Cover More Than Fashion On The Red Carpet

Aug 26 2014 2:54pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

No matter how accomplished a female celebrity is, it's almost guaranteed that her red carpet interviews will prioritize the topic of her fashion choices over her career. #AskHerMore, a hashtag started by The Representation Project, wants to change that. The campaign launched in February of this year, and took off at last night's 2014 Emmy Awards when Twitter users shared the types of questions they'd like to hear stars answ ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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1 week ago

Emmys Best Dressed List: The 2014 Award Show Was Filled With Gorgeous, Ethereal Gowns

Aug 25 2014 9:43pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

We're not exaggerating when we say that the stars were red hot at the 2014 Emmy Awards. Red was the color of the night with celebs like Heidi Klum, Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus wearing the rich hue. Meanwhile, Kerry Washington proved that orange really is the new black and Sarah Silverman made a serious case for forest green. Check out the best-dressed stars of the night and let us know if you agree with our picks. Heidi Klum in Zac Posen Heidi Kl ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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1 week ago

Emmys 2014 Hair And Makeup Is Like A Breath Of Fresh Air (PHOTOS)

Aug 25 2014 8:45pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

After last year's beauty snoozefest at the Emmy Awards, the editors here at HuffPost Style prayed that makeup artists and hairstylists would liven things up this time around. And boy did they deliver! Kristen Wiig and Kerry Washington shocked in sexy bob haircuts. Laverne Cox smoldered in smokey eye makeup. And Lena Headey made us all want to get a brunette pixie and back tattoos. See our picks for Emmy Awards best and worst beauty lo ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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1 week ago

Kerry Washington's Emmy Dress 2014 Proves Orange Really Is The New Black

Aug 25 2014 6:33pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Kerry Washington and Olivia Pope are both style icons in their own right. However, it's a good thing that the "Scandal" star doesn't stick to the same white suit of armor like her fictional TV character when it comes to dressing up for the red carpet. Washington, who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, took our breath away in an orange Prada dress. The sequined seams and peekaboo black detail ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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1 week ago

How Obama Killed A Controversial SNL Skit

Aug 20 2014 5:25pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

A November 2007 episode of "Saturday Night Live," featuring an cameo by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), almost included a controversial sketch about racial profiling until the presidential hopeful shot down the idea. The Hollywood Reporter ran an excerpt on Wednesday from a new addition of Live From New York, a book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales about the famed comedy sketch show. The excerpt focused ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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2 weeks ago

Ice bucket challenge made Oprah scream

Aug 16 2014 2:12am CDT | Source: TV Tattle on Hitfix

Ice bucket challenge made Oprah scream Gayle dumped the bucket over her head. Kerry Washington took 2 ice buckets to avoid “Scandal” spoilers Washington took one bucket on behalf of the cast so you wouldn’t know who was shooting Friday night. PLUS: Watch Eric Stonestreet ...http://www.hitfix.com/blo ...
Source: TV Tattle on Hitfix   Full article at: TV Tattle on Hitfix
 

 
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4 weeks ago

Here's Your First Look At Shonda Rhimes' New Show 'How To Get Away With Murder'

Jul 30 2014 4:56pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Shonda Rhimes is taking over your Thursday nights. The writer/director/producer already has two fan-favorite shows on ABC with "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy," but she has new one joining the lineup. "How to Get Away with Murder" stars Viola Davis as a criminal defense professor who gets entangled in a murder conspiracy along with some of her law students. The thriller will also star Alfred Enoch, known best as Dean Thomas from the "Harry Potter ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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6 weeks ago

Shonda Rhimes Says 'Scandal' Won't Make It Past Season 8

Jul 17 2014 12:34pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Ready yourselves, gladiators, this isn't good news. Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind shows like "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy," just revealed a bit of her endgame when it comes to Olivea Pope & Associates and it doesn't go past Season 8. The showrunner spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about plans for the upcoming season of the show and admitted she doesn't see too many years left for Olivia, Fitz and the rest of the crew. "I think t ...
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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