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Kerry Washington is a superstar actress. Her role as Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert, on the ABC drama Scandal has also helped her become a style inspiration to many women.

She has been nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series,  a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series.

She recently spoke to Marie Claire magazine about keeping her life private, her career, and some of her fashion inspiration.

This is what she had to say in her Marie Claire interview:

Kerry Washington on privacy: “Earlier in my career I was much more super-sharey. There were moments when I wanted to process things that were happening to me more privately, and I didn’t have the space to do it, because once you let people in, they’re in and you don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I want this for myself.'”

On collaborating with Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes: “I’m very respectful of Shonda’s vision of who Olivia [Pope] is, but she has said that she is informed by the choices I make. If we were waltzing, she’s definitely leading. And she picked the song, and she probably dressed us, but it is a waltz.”

On fashion: “I just put myself in a boot camp of figuring it out—and realized that I really loved it. I guess because I came to it later in life, I realized, ‘Oh, going to a fashion show is like going to the opening of Degas at the Met or going to see Swan Lake.'”

On family: “I just want [daughter Isabelle] to know that she’s heard. Really heard, because I feel like that is what we all really want. When I think about any of the missteps in my life that I’ve made, all of which I’m grateful for, it’s because I just so wanted to be truly seen and heard for who I am and was afraid I wasn’t or wouldn’t be. I see you, I hear you, I’m with you as you are.”

On Olivia Pope: “I don’t think I consciously say, ‘What would Olivia Pope do?’ but there’s a new thread of belief in my own capacity that I think comes from her. She makes it happen. She figures it out. She fixes it.”

 

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