Kerry Washington is sexy, smart, and scandalous on the latest cover of Uptown magazine.
As the first African-American female in 40 years to play the leading role on a scripted broadcast-network series with her ABC hit "Scandal," Washington is certainly in a league all her own. And that's without taking into account her role in the forthcoming Quentin Tarantino film "Django Unchained," also starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Washington spoke with Uptown about her interest in "Django" and about growing up in the South Bronx while attending one of the top private schools in New York.
On why she was drawn to be cast in "Django," in which she plays the slave Broomhilda von Shaft, Washington said: “I’ve never seen slavery dealt with this way before in film. So often, it’s a white character who’s the savior of black people … We should have a plethora of visions and interpretations of who we are as a nation.”
However, Washington went on to say: “This is not necessarily the film I would make about slavery. I’m not a violent person. I often watch Tarantino movies through what he calls ‘chick-vision,’” meaning she covers her eyes and looks at graphic scenes through her fingers.
Washington also discussed the culture shock she experienced going to the Spence School, an exclusive all-girls institution on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Before attending the school, Washington said, she thought her working-middle-class family was very well off.
“We had a microwave and two cars. We had a dishwasher before anyone in the building,” Washington said. “And then you go to this other world, and it’s, ‘Oh, we’re taking a helicopter to your house in the Hamptons?’ For a lot of classmates, I knew the only other black women they’d known were their domestic help.”
But the actress is still very much connected to her old school, where she gave a commencement speech to the graduating class in 2006.
Washington also told Uptown that remaining in the entertainment industry is not always an easy task: "Sometimes I feel like I can’t do this anymore. And then I’ll come across a script, and say, ‘Oh … Well, this is kind of great.’” Almost once a year, she said her hair and makeup staff hears her say: “I am done! I’m so done.” At this point, they simply ignore her when she makes such comments.
But Washington is doing extremely well for herself, as her hit show "Scandal" is in its second season and ABC will announce next month that the season will be extended to 22 episodes from 13 episodes.
Read Washington’s interview with Uptown by clicking here.