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Actress, Kerry Washington sat down with Uptown Girl magazine recently, to talk about her upcoming role in the movie Django Unchained. In it, Washington plays a slave and love interest of Jamie Foxx’s character, Django. The Scandal actress, stands by her decision and says, “If I were to say it’s okay to play a lawyer but not a maid, or it’s okay to play a professor but not a slave, that would be sort of spitting on the legacy of my grandmother, who was a maid on Park Avenue for years, or my ancestors in South Carolina, who came from slavery.”
“What’s interesting about storytelling is we get to step into someone’s experience for an hour and a half in the dark, and in the process of living through that journey we learn about ourselves.”
“That’s what it’s all about to me.”
The actress went back and forth between shooting the movie and shooting for her hit show, Scandal, which has made her a household name. Going from one extreme, as a slave, to another extreme as a high profile attorney/ investigator can take a toll on the mind and body. It is very difficult, psychologically, to jump from one mental mind game to the next, without a chance to deflect. But Washington does it so well.
“I went from shooting in a slave shack with my character curled up in bed, terrified about the state of her future,’ she says, ‘to walking in heels outside of the White House on my way to meet the president’s chief of staff.”
Washington is adored by many, young and old alike. Jamie Foxx had this to say about her.
“I can’t say enough about the brilliance and toughness of her, especially in Django, where she’s amazingly vulnerable playing this damsel in distress throwback character,’ he says. ‘And then you look at the strength of what she’s doing on Scandal, where she’s in control and doing her thing.”
Washington continues to set the bar high for other African American actresses. She has opened up a door that has been closed for many years, offering a new perspective on the image of African American women for a new generation.
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.