The Betty Interview: Kerry Washington
The actress, who has not one — but two! — films debuting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, tells BettyConfidential about her Gossip Girl-style high school years, her ties to the White House, and which female celeb is dying to make out with her.
Kerry Washington, the fashionable star and L’Oreal spokesmodel, who has landed on countless Best Dressed lists, is in high demand. The 32-year-old New York native has two brilliant films at Sundance (which runs through January 31 in Park City, Utah), Night Catches Us and Mother and Child. And she can currently be seen on Broadway in David Mamet’s controversial play, Race, alongside James Spader and David Alan Grier.
If that isn’t enough, Kerry, who graduated from George Washington University and speaks seven languages, was also a strong campaign supporter for President Barack Obama, and now holds a position on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the likes of Edward Norton and Vogue’s Anna Wintour. 2010 is gearing up to be her best year yet!
In Night Catches Us, you play Patricia. How would you describe her?
I play a woman who used to be part of the Black Panther movement in the 1960s. The film catches up with her and her friend Marcus, played by Anthony Mackie, 10 years later and what our lives are like now after the heated, scandalous, high-stakes events that we participated in 10 years ago. He goes underground and I become a civil rights lawyer, so you get to see two very different sides to things.
Did the period clothes and the afro help you get into character?
Yeah, always. But shoes in particular are really important. I always think I don’t know a character until I know how she walks. And you don’t really know that until you know what shoes she’s wearing. It was a lot of fun, but shooting in the summer in Philadelphia in all of that polyester had its challenges. I kept calling my mother, like, “How did you do this?”