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Kerry Washington: ‘Scandal’ role gave me courage to have children

The actress has said if it wasn’t for Olivia Pope, her character in the ABC drama series, she doesn’t think she’d have the 'courage' to be a parent.

Kerry Washington. Picture: @kerrywashington/Instagram.

LONDON - Kerry Washington has admitted she doesn’t think she’d have had children if it wasn’t for her character on Scandal.

The 41-year-old actress is a mother to three-year-old Isabelle and 17-month-old son Caleb - both of whom she has with her husband Nnamdi Asomugha - and has said if it wasn’t for Olivia Pope, her character in the ABC drama series, she doesn’t think she’d have the “courage” to be a parent.

Speaking about Pope ahead of Scandal’s final ever episode - which airs on 19 April - the actress said: “The thing that’s really fun for me about saying goodbye to a character is the kind of life in you. There will be things that Olivia Pope has given me that always stay with me. She’s changed me.

“I don’t know if I would have had kids at this point in my life if she didn’t make me feel like anything is possible. I feel like she’s given me a lot of courage. So, I’ll keep that courage. I’m going to have to say bye to the Prada purses but not goodbye to the courage and the courage is more important.”

And Washington hopes Scandal will leave a mark on the television landscape after it broke new ground by casting a black female lead.

She added: “There is so much that has happened, a black woman being the lead on a network show, all of that is so important. But equally important is that this is a work environment where we have treated each other with a great deal of love and respect and I really want that to be part of our legacy.

“We have the opportunities to love and respect the people we work with and we all have worked so hard, so being in environments like that is so important.”

Now that Scandal is coming to an end, Washington is ready to “continue to grow” with her next projects, which include a comedy about women, and a Hulu show entitled Little Fires Everywhere, which she will work on with Reese Witherspoon.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, she said: “[I will] continue to grow that legacy, and that I continue to break new ground and develop new material.

“I’m so excited about projects I have in the works. I have a pilot at ABC that’s a comedy about women [called Man Of the House] and I have a show that I’m doing with Reese [Witherspoon]. There are new opportunities to break new ground and that is my focus.”

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