Kerry Marisa Washington is an American actress. Since 2012, Washington has gained wide public recognition for starring in the ABC drama Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes series in which she played Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert to politicians and power brokers in Washington DC, and also is a producer
Kerry is the latest cover star for Marie Claire‘s Power Issue. For the cover feature, she talks motherhood, life after tv series Scandal, heading back to Broadway and more.
Read excerpts below:
On the word Power: Honestly, I think about power as more of an internal phenomenon, I tend to think about empowerment for myself so that I have the courage and ability to act on the ideologies and priorities that resonate with me. I’ve always wanted to cultivate a sense of empowerment within myself without seeking approval from outside sources, which is hard to do as an actor, which is part of why producing is so important and which is where some of my freedom, or learning, to take that sense of freedom and bring it to a larger audience and larger space has a lot to do with having my employer be a black woman.
On working on Broadway: Theater is a big part of why I fell in love with storytelling and with acting and I hadn’t been able to do it for the whole life of Scandal. I love being in the room with your audience. There’s something very meditative and monastic to me about theatre because on TV, every single day is different. To commit yourself to go to the same place and saying the same words and walking the same path, it’s almost like a labyrinth in a monastery or a walking meditation, where the world around you changes but you don’t. You commit to the same task at hand, and in doing that, you learn so much. The last time I did theater, it completely transformed my life. That’s where I met my husband.
On what Motherhood has taught her: Everything. My children are my teachers. There’s a writer that I love, Dr Shefali Tsabary. She writes about conscious parenting, and her paradigm is that we think about it all wrong. We think children come into the world and it’s our job to mould them and create them and teach them who to be so that they can be the best version of themselves, but it’s actually completely upside down. We get sent by God the kids we need so we can grow in order to be the parents they need us to be. The children I got sent came in perfect, and I have to figure out how to grow and evolve so that I can support the truth of them. I’m in a constant state of learning and challenging myself to make room for their perfection and beauty.