Gladiators, I hope you’re sitting down, because Kerry Washington opened up about when she’ll say goodbye to Olivia Pope for good.
Kerry Washington, 40, looks stunning as she rocks a colorful Valentino dress and her natural curls on the cover of Glamour magazine’s May 2017 issue, which marked her first cover since giving birth to her second child. Inside, she opened up about the important conversation of race and how the Scandal writers have incorporated the dialogue into the show, and even discussed the inevitable series finale.
Although Kerry loves playing Olivia, she admitted that she’s excited for the post-Olivia-Pope chapter of her life — but the end of the show isn’t up to her, it’s up to Scandal creator, Shonda Rhimes. “It’s not really up to me. It’s up to Shonda [Rhimes, Scandal’s creator] and to the network. Shonda has said from the beginning that she kind of knows how it ends. So I’m trusting her to guide the arc. It’s also important for me to do other work—and playing Olivia gave me the opportunity to become a producer. The charge of my production company, Simpson Street, is to tell stories that are about people, places, and situations that may not always be considered by the mainstream. Inclusivity is not about, you know, creating a world where straight white men have no voice; it’s about creating a world where we all have a voice. So I’m excited to start that new journey, as a producer,” she said.
The star also discussed how important it is for Scandal to address race. “In the first season it was as if Olivia Pope was raceless. There was no denying that Olivia was a black woman, because I’m a black woman, playing her in badass white trench coats that call to attention the fact that I’m not looking like anybody else on television. But we didn’t talk about her identity as a black person. [Since then] the writers have become more and more willing to deal with race,” she said.
Since the first season of the hit ABC series the storyline surrounding Olivia has definitely evolved. “When Olivia was kidnapped, it was not lost on me that the fictional president of the United States was willing to go to war to save one black woman at a time when hundreds of black women were missing in Nigeria and we were begging the world to pay attention. Shonda was saying, ‘The life of a black woman matters.’ With her dad—he is trying to instill in her this generational learning about what it means to be a person of color in the United States. And Olivia is at odds with balancing the truth of his understanding with her ability to achieve things he was never able to,” Kerry said.
For more from Kerry, be sure to scoop up the latest issue of the magazine.