Kerry Washington Opens Up About The Joys Of Being Inspired By Her Boss

The actress steps into a different type of role in Pixar’s Cars 3 and talks about working with Shonda Rhimes.

She’s one of our favorite leading ladies on Thursday night television, but this summer Kerry Washington steps out of her stylish stilettos and envy-inducing wardrobe to bring us the voice of Natalie Certain, the numbers crunching roadster in Pixar’s Cars 3, in theatres now.

It’s a welcomed change for the woman we’re used to seeing save the country one public relations mess at a time. Without the pressure of memorizing lines, getting dressed up, and sitting in the hair and makeup chair for hours on end, the award-winning actress was able to relax and have fun in her animated role.

RELATED: Happy Anniversary! Things We Know About Kerry Washington And Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha

Besides that, Washington, who is mom to 4 year-old Isabelle and 8 month-old Caleb is happy to now have a legitimate excuse to binge on the family-friendly franchise she enjoyed long before motherhood.

Even so, if you think the role of a sassy, smarty-pants sports car has turned this eco-conscious city girl into a motor junkie, think again. When asked about her dream ride she quipped, “I can tell you the dream boots I want for fashion. And my favorite coat that Olivia Pope is wearing, but I think for me, I just really love driving something that’s good for the planet and good for my pocket.

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This feature originally appeared in the July 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

So yesterday we had the entire Shonda Land family. All of the actors from all three shows —although there's going to be a forth— All of the actors together looking beautiful and fabulous and well-dressed. And color-coordinated, and we were all in a room to do this massive portrait for Shonda and her land. Shonda Rhimes far exceeds any prayer I could have come up with for the best boss ever. She is a friend. She's an inspiration. She's a role model. She's a leader. She is a, she's really such an example for me as a woman, as a person of color, as a mom, as an employer, as an artist, as a human being. I think the thing that I love most about playing Olivia Pope is that I'm constantly learning more about her. You know I come from film, so I'm used to playing a character for three or four months. Or even in the theater where you may play a character for a year, but it's that same moment in their life. Over and over again. And the thing about doing television is that you get to discover more and more about your character because you live with them but you live with them in all different situations and scenarios over four years now. So I just love her [Olivia Pope], I love her imperfections, I love her fabulousness, I love how strong and smart she is, I love how vulnerable and imperfect she is. She's a real gift to me in my life. I have to say I think my favorite line on the show is not a line that I got to say. I think my favorite line Line on this show is probably, 'I'm Quinn ****.' Which is probably a [UNKNOWN] line. So that's probably my favorite. But I've had some great ones. It's handled is so classic that's probably the one people on the street say to me the most. I kind of live the [UNKNOWN] Speeches. You know when she pokes someone, those moments are really fun because I think as a woman to be able to have that sense of authority, and give somebody a good read is really fun.
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