Born: January 31, 1977, Bronx, New York
Marital Status: Single
Education: The Spence School, George Washington University, Michael Howard Studios
“I don’t think I’m even close to fulfilling my potential. And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.”
Kerry Washington has always wanted to act. Though raised in the Bronx, Washington attended the Spence School in Manhattan, a prestigious private school, where she appeared in a number of school productions. Her participation in school productions paid off, Washington won a theater scholarship to George Washington University, where she earned a degree in performance studies.
While she made her film debut in Our Song in 2000, Washington had one of her first career breakthroughs the following year. She made a memorable turn in Save the Last Dance, starring Julia Stiles. Soon after the release of this popular teen drama, Washington starred in the humorous action film Bad Company, starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins.
Washington’s career really gained traction in the mid 2000’s. First she starred as Della Rae Robinson, Ray Charles’ wife, in the biopic Ray. She earned strong reviews for her performance, and Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for his performance as Ray Charles. You can see how well the two worked off each other in this scene:
She then would go on to star in Fantastic Four, The Last King of Scotland, I Think I Love My Wife, and Lakeview Terrace. But perhaps the work Kerry Washington is best known for is her role as Olivia Pope in the popular television show, Scandal. Her character is a crisis manager of sorts. She advises, and cleans up scandals for her clients. Her character also happens to be involved in an affair with President of the United States. Their chemistry in this scene is interesting to say the least:
Washington also recently starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. This film would reunite Jamie Foxx and her. Once again, they would be playing a married couple, but that’s where the similarities end between Ray and Django Unchained. She played Broomhilda von Shaft, a slave married to Jamie Foxx’s character, Django Reinhardt. After they are separated, Django does everything possible to get her back.
Washington’s continued determination paid off, and she is currently the star of one of the most popular shows on television. Hopefully her success continues, and she can show audiences what she is really capable of.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Smoking Section