“I dreamt about being on the stage way before I dreamt about being on anybody’s screen anywhere,” Kerry Washington tells CBS Sunday Morning’s Michelle Miller in the October 7 segment above.
Washington has been seen in movies for over a decade, from Save the Last Dance to Mr. & Mrs. Smith; She made her Broadway debut nine years ago in David Mamet’s Race. But her notoriety came when she took on the role of Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal, beginning in 2012 and becoming the first African American female lead on a network drama in 40 years. It’s the role that earned her her first Golden Globe nomination and two Emmy nominations.
With Scandal wrapped, Washington returns to Broadway in a new American play American Son. Written by Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, the story chronicles the night that Kendra (Washington) and Scott’s son goes missing through her eyes as a black mother, the eyes of a white father (Steven Pasquale), the eyes of a white cop (Jeremy Jordan), and the eyes of a black cop (Eugene Lee).
She also spoke about her numerous professional projects, including her leadership role in the founding of Time's Up. “The good thing that has come out of it is that there is more truth-telling, and there is more truth,” said Washington. The actor earned her second Golden Globe nomination and third Emmy nomination for playing Anita Hill, the woman who brought allegations of sexual assault against now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in HBO’s film Confirmation. “She really taught me what courage looks like,” she said. “I realized in playing her the places in my own life where I have not told my full truth and I'm just so grateful that she was willing to.”
As for spinning all the plates, Washington said: “I'm a hustler. If I sit around and wait for other people to create magic in my life then I will be waiting til the day I die, but I get to bring my own black girl magic into the world as best as I see fit and that's what gives me the life I have today.”
And that’s the magic she hopes to bring to her character, Kendra, as American Son currently plays its limited engagement at Broadway’s Booth Theatre. “Because as a culture, we tend to look past women or look past women of color; when we give value to the stories of women of color, it becomes a social act of rebellion. It's not what I'm intending to do, but I'm not going to make myself small.”