Kerry Washington - 5 facts: Actress talks 'Scandal,' Emmys and Jamie Foxx (Exclusive)
While Kerry Washington plays a hard-hitting crisis management specialist in her ABC series "Scandal," the actress is really a fashion-loving actress devoted to her craft.
The 35-year-old actress sat down with OTRC.com special Emmys correspondent Roshumba Williams to talk about her political drama "Scandal" and the Emmy Awards. She is one of the presenters of the ceremony, which takes place on Sunday.
In "Scandal," Washinton plays Olivia Pope, a former white house communications director for the president who leaves her post to start her own crisis management firm. She is a professional "fixer" who makes problems go away before anyone even knows they exist. Darby Staunchfield, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young and Jeff Perry also appear in the ABC drama series which airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.
The actress is also set to star in the highly-anticipated Quentin Tarantino film "Django Unchained." Washington talked to OTRC.com about the film's heavy subject matter, as well as working with her friend Jamie Foxx and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Check out five facts about Washington and her acting projects.
1. Kerry Washington is proud to be a television star.
"I am excited," Washington told OTRC.com. "Last year was my first year at the Emmy's and I had a really great time. I'm really proud to be a part of the television community. I feel like some of the best work that's happening right now is on TV, so, I'm excited to be a part of a night celebrating excellence in television."
2. She maintains a healthy lifestyle.
"I try to take really good care of myself all year long for work, because I feel like the better care I'm taking of myself physically with food and exercise, the better my work will be," Washington told OTRC.com. "Because as actors, we are our tool of expression - it's not like I go to a piano and play piano - all I have is my body. So, I do, I try to take good care of myself all year long."
She went on to explain her specific rituals before red carpet events.
"You know, before an event I might try to do an extra massage. Sometimes I get a little anxious before a big red carpet event so I find myself doing a little bit more cardio just to get some of that anxiety out," Washington told OTRC.com.
"I always feel like the most important thing is to get more sleep, and to eat well enough to not go too hungry so you're light headed and tripping on stuff on the red carpet," she added. "And I always try to get in a facial that week, make sure your nails are did, hair did, walk out the door."
3. She has a great time working on "Scandal" and is "obsessed" with the scripts.
"You know, we have so much fun making 'Scandal' - we are obsessed with the scripts," Washington told OTRC.com. "These scripts come in and they're so good that as actors we just feel like, 'Oh my goodness we can't screw this up, we have to make sure it's as good as it is on the page.'"
"It's such a fun show," she said. "Nobody is who you think they are. Everybody's got secrets - that's what we learned in season 1, was that every single character has secrets. And in season 2, so far, we are learning that those secrets can really complicate each other's lives."
She went on to give a brief spoiler about a certain "Scandal" character's identity.
"You will definitely learn who Quinn Perkins is in the premiere episode," Washington continued. "However, in total 'Scandal' fashion, once you find out who Quinn is, then you'll want to know why, and how, and when, and where."
4. She almost did not get to give a speech at The Democratic National Convention.
"I was asked to speak at the convention and I wasn't sure that we were going to be able to make it happen actually because we're shooting the show right now, but somehow with red eye flights and not enough sleep, we made it happen, so I'm really grateful because it was a true honor to be there," she said.
She said that her role on "Scandal" had nothing to do with her involvement at the convention.
"It's not at all related to the show - I've been involved in politics for a long time," Washington told OTRC.com. "I was involved with the campaign in 2008 and I'm actually in the Obama administration - I sit in the president's committee for the arts and humanities, so it's completely separate."
'Scandal' is actually a Republican president, it's a different situation," she said, joking: "Olivia has a inapproprate relationship with that White House. Kerry Washington does not."
5. Washington is set to take part in Tarantino's upcoming western drama film, "Django Unchained."
"It's the new film from Quentin Tarantino, and Jamie and I are playing husband and wife again, which is an absolute delight to be able to work with Jamie," Washington told OTRC.com. "It was a very tough film because it's a Tarantino epic heroes journey, but it's set in the Antebellum South, so it's set in pre-civil war slavery times."
"So, it was a hard film to do, but being able to create that work with an incredible cast - Leonardo DiCaprio, Sam Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, myself - to work with a director like Quentin, just to have that opportunity - and to do it with a friend," she said.
Foxx and Washington played Ray Charles and his wife Della Bea Robinson in the 2004 biopic "Ray," which won the actor his first Oscar.
"Jamie's a real friend," Washington said. "I mean, in Hollywood terms we've been married for almost 10 years, which is really good, so we're doing well. It was really great to be able to be in the trenches with him on this one."
"[Django Unchained] was set in the context of slavery, so the subject matter was challenging," she added. "But his character is such a hero and it's such a story of love overcoming the evils of slavery, so it was an honor to do it."