Kerry Washington looks in the mirror, approves of the precise waves just added to her hair with a styling iron, and smiles at her hair and makeup team. “You can stand down now,” she says.
Suffice to say that, folks, it’s handled.
The same can be said for Washington herself. After years of supporting parts in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland and 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Washington has two Emmy nominations to her name for playing Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal. She embodies the sartorially flawless, self-destructive yet eminently competent crisis manager who’s crisp, efficient, mostly cool under pressure — and always, always immaculately decked out in Armani, Gucci and Max Mara, while toting a Prada bag.
And just in time for the show’s season premiere Thursday, Washington helped launched a Scandal-inspired clothing line with the Limited.
When Season 3 left off, she was on a plane, heading to — where? Washington won’t say, given the famously secretive nature of series creator Shonda Rhimes.
“You will find out where Olivia goes. You’ll get that answer. We do deal with the loss of Harrison on the show. What else can I tell you? People have really big feelings about our show. If I had to talk plot with them more, I’d have to deal a lot more with their opinions. I have to deal with it with my own parents constantly. My dad is like, ‘I think she should be with so and so,'” says Washington.
The show generates incessant buzz. But weirdly, the more famous Washington has gotten, the more private she’s become — usually the opposite route taken by celebs.
She quietly married football player Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24, 2013, in Hailey, Idaho, without a soul the wiser. And instead of flaunting a rock the size of Olivia Pope’s Prada purses, Washington wears a simple gold band on her wedding finger. In April, she quietly gave birth to her daughter, Isabelle Amarachi, again without a single clear photo of the tot surfacing anywhere.
Not bad for a George Washington University graduate whose mother started sobbing when Washington told her she planned on becoming an actress.
“My parents are really happy for me. I think they’re the kind of parents who are interestingly more proud of the fact that I have an appointed position in the White House than they are of the show, or that I’ve been able to be experiencing such joy in my personal life. Those things matter to them more. But they’re grateful I’m not the starving artist they feared I would be,” she says.
That’s as far as she’ll go in discussing what goes on behind closed doors, at least on the record. Her choice to clam up wasn’t strategic, says Washington. “I used to be really open. And then I just decided it wasn’t working for me,” she explains.
Like Olivia, Washington wears her confidence easily.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Donna Freydkin