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Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington: A Woman in Demand at the Top of Her Game

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Kerry Washington is everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

She graces magazine covers, does television interviews and talk shows, and stars in the latest movies, which includes Academy Award Winner “Django Unchained, ” Quentin Tarantino’s western which landed an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in February.

And , oh yeah, there is a little show on ABC called “Scandal,” in which she’s the lead character – the first African American lead for a prime-time drama in almost 40 years.

Kerry Washington (@KerryWashington on Twitter) is the “it” girl right now. She is in demand, and rolling with it.

Henry Ian Cusick and Kerry Washington in Scandal | ABC

Henry Ian Cusick and Kerry Washington in Scandal | ABC

Washington portrays Olivia Pope, the no-nonsense, crisis management guru in Washington, D.C. She and her team clean up messes for high profile clients to make sure their secrets don’t get out to the public.

It’s smart, fast paced, and has many layers and subplots. A big part of the show is Olivia’s on- and off-again affair with the President of the United States (played by Tony Goldwyn.) This storyline is an integral and steamy piece of the show, and everyone knows they really do love each other. But how can they ever make it work?

“Scandal” is also huge on Twitter (@ScandalABC), with fans and cast members tweeting over 2000 tweets per minute while the show is airing. Pretty cool, huh?  Even I joined in and tweeted Kerry last week. (Join the cast each week at #AskScandal, where they answer your questions live.)

Born January 31, 1977, Kerry grew up in the Bronx. Her mother, Valerie, was a professor, and father Earl, a real estate broker. She attended high school at the Spence School in Manhattan, and went on to attend George Washington University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology. Not bad, wouldn’t you say?

During high school, she appeared in school productions, and later joined theater groups in NYC. By 1994, she won the Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance in “Save the Last Dance.”

She has appeared in many movies over the past two decades, but her role of Della Bea Robinson in the critically-acclaimed film, “Ray,” alongside Jamie Foxx, brought attention to the actress. In “Django Unchained,” she plays Broomhilda Von Shaft, Django’s wife who was lost in a slave trade. Django, played by Foxx, is on a quest to find her.

This was a violent, but fulfilling film for Kerry. Some say she was snubbed for an Oscar nomination, and if you saw the movie, you can understand why.

I asked my friend, Liz Roger (who convinced me to watch “Scandal” – thank you!) what she likes about Kerry. “I like her because she is strong, beautiful, and intelligent,” said Liz. “But at the same time, she is cool and calm with a kind demeanor.”

Bingo. I think that describes her character on the show, as well as her real life personality. People love that about her, and why not? We need strong female role models for girls to look up to. I would love my own daughter to have those characteristics.

Kerry Washington

Kerry is not only a wonderful and busy actress, she’s also an activist. She spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention for President Obama, was appointed by President Obama to the Committee on the Arts and Humanities, is a member of V-Day (a global organization to stop violence against women and girls), a participant in Americans for the Arts, and supports cancer organizations and many other philanthropic organizations. This year she won three NAACP Awards, including the President’s Award for her humanitarian work. Very, very nice.

I am quite certain we’ll be seeing Kerry for a long time to come. It seems she’s just getting started, and loving every minute of it. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what’s in the future for her … maybe an Oscar someday?

What do you think about Kerry Washington?  What’s your favorite work she has done?  Do any of you “tweet” live during Scandal? Leave comments below. 

Kim is married, has two teenagers and lives in Seattle. She is a freelance writer for Reel Life With Jane, and has written two screenplays and is starting a third. Her ultimate goal is to see one make it to the big screen, and be part of that process. She grew up watching TV and movies with her grandmother, and her favorites are “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Her favorite TV show is “Bones,” and she loves reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, travel, helping with fundraisers, and enjoying good food and wine. Follow Kim on Twitter at @kimberlystrand1.

Kimberly Strand has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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2 comments

  1. I still wish Henry Ian Cusick had stayed. I loved the role he played. He was so, so, other. I loved his accent. This is a wedding ring, this is a wedding ring. Liv, you’re bullying me.

  2. I just saw her in the interesting role in Django. I enjoyed learning more about her from your article. With her smarts and looks, I agree that we’ll see a lot more of her!

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