EXCLUSIVE: Kerry Washington Answers Your ‘Scandal’ Questions & More

After a three-week hiatus that nearly drove its legions of fans mad, ABC’s hit drama Scandal returns tonight with just a handful of episodes left before the big finale this spring.

Now that more secrets are out in the open than ever before and no lies seem to stick, professional fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) might, for once, be in way over her head.

We know you are anxiously anticipating tonight’s new show, so as a treat ESSENCE.com asked leading lady Washington some of your burning Scandal questions. Get the scoop now!

@EBOPREY: There are only a few episodes left of Scandal. Could you describe them?
WASHINGTON: The last few episodes are unbelievable! laughs Shocking, unbelievable and a lot of fun.

@_2BOUJEE: When will we know about season three?
WASHINGTON: I don’t know. It’s more of a question for ABC—but sometime this spring.

@JULIA_450D: Do you keep the clothes Olivia Pope wears?
KERRY WASHINGTON: I don’t. One of the things we decided really early on is that I try to reuse Olivia’s clothes. You don’t often see a full suit used again. Basically, I maintain a closet at the studio. We try to, in ever episode, incorporate at least one item of clothing that was in a previous episode—either season one or this season. Because I feel like that just brings more truth to the character—so it’s not like she wears something once and throws it away.

@JEN_KOCH: Can Olivia ever truly forgive Fitz? And can love trump lies and betrayal?
WASHINGTON: I think that’s funny because that’s sort of the message of Peeples (opening May 10). If you love someone enough, you can get through the dishonesty to the truth of who someone really is. And accept that.

@MISSDREA1913: Is there anyone you’d like to see guest star on Scandal?
WASHINGTON: Oh gosh there’s so many people! It would be fun. We’ve had so many great guest stars to date. I really trust Linda Lowy and Shonda Rhimes. They do such an incredible job casting the show. I think we’re so lucky to have Joe Morton on the show. What a treat?! He’s someone whose career I have admired for so long and I have so much respect for him.

@KARINE_1630: Are we ever going to learn more about Olivia’s past?
WASHINGTON: It’s interesting. I think we have had lots of flashbacks into Olivia’s past but it’s been of the relationships and the campaign as opposed to her personal past. This week’s episode is all about the Huck character and his past and it’s pretty breath taking. It’s really… I don’t know if people are ready for it. It kind of destroyed us. We’re all still having a hard time talking about it. It’s that intense. But I actually don’t know. I know a little more than you guys do, but not much.

@ESSENCEMAG: Do you watch the episodes with us or do you watch them before hand?
WASHINGTON: We try to see them before hand because the episodes change a lot in the editing. Sometimes scenes are cut and they’ll change the order of scenes. We really have to watch them before in order to live tweet with you guys. Because there’s no way we would be able to live tweet and be watching it for the first time together.

@YANITLA1687: How do you sustain strength and passion in your work when you’re publicly criticized over every detail?
WASHINGTON: Do people criticize me? laughs No, I’m just kidding! The goal is to never read the comments, ever, on anything. I think I have a really good shrink and that’s helpful. I have friends and family and that’s helpful. I have a strong faith and that’s helpful. And then you just do the best you can because nobody’s perfect.

@_LOVEHANNA and @BabycakeBriauna: You’re so talented. Do you think you’ll ever take your skills and direct something soon… maybe a movie?
WASHINGTON: I have directed. I’ve directed music videos and PSAs and I really enjoy it. I’m really busy with this TV show.

@MANWIFEDOG: You’ve done so much. What’s next for you in your career?
WASHINGTON: Oh, unlimited things! laughs I don’t even think about it that way. The women and the people whose careers I’ve admired are people like Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, Rita Moreno and Julie Andrews. Women who have worked on Broadway, on TV and on film. And women who have been producers, directors and writers, who have made a career of working. It’s so funny when you ask someone who Diahann Carroll is. They’ll give you a completely different answer based on how old they are… I hope to one day have that kind of career. The possibilities are endless and you just keep growing as an artist.