Interview: Kerry Washington

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(The dynamic Washington, shown right)

Born in the
Bronx on January 31, 1977, Kerry Washington was raised in NYC, attending the prestigious Spence School for girls located in a renovated mansion on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side. Other actresses among the institution’s alumnae include Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmy Rossum and Elizabeth Montgomery.
The gorgeous, George Washington University grad majored in theater and made an auspicious screen debut in 2000 in a character-driven, inner-city drama entitled Our Song. She followed that outing with an equally-engaging performance in Save the Last Dance. Since then, she’s received critical acclaim for her work in The Human Stain, Against the Ropes, She Hate Me, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Fantastic Four. Last year, she won an NAACP Image award for Ray, where she played Della, Ray Charles’ long-suffering wife. Speaking of spouses, Kerry is currently engaged to child star-turned-character actor David Moscow, who might be best remembered as Tom Hanks’ young alter ego in Big. Here, she reflects on making an attempt at comedy, Little Man, a slapstick farce co-starring Marlon and Shawn Wayans.

BSN: You have made quite a name for yourself as a legitimate actress. What made you decide to try an over-the-top comedy?
Kerry: If I was going to do a comedy, I wanted to do a comedy where it would be a crash course, where I’d have to be on my toes, working with the best and ready to stand up at the mike.

BSN: What did you think of your experience working with the Wayans brothers?
Kerry: These guys have taught me so much. I just sort of sat around and soaked in all their comic genius. They are so professional, and yet they never stop having a good time. You never feel like your working, because you love what you’re doing all day long, even though you’re working really hard. And I loved working with Shawn. I think we make a very cute onscreen couple.

BSN: How would you describe your character, Vanessa?
Kerry: She has this wonderful husband who loves her very much, and who’s ready to start a family. But that really challenges her ideas about her plans. What I like about Vanessa is that she’s really strong, really driven, and really together, but she’s also filled with love. She loves her husband and her work and her husband so much, and she eventually learns to love this baby.

BSN: I know you didn’t work with Marlon, but how was it working opposite the baby who served as his character Calvin’s body double?
Kerry: What we saw was Calvin pretending to be a baby, and that Calvin is a baby, a slightly enigmatic, strange child, but lovable, nonetheless. He was great, but very different from the Calvin that the audience sees in other contexts.

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