As one of Hollywood’s most prolific actresses and an Obama Administration appointee, Kerry Washington finds time to work for change

Kam Williams | 11/30/2010, 8:49 a.m.
(Photo courtesy of www.magpictures.com) As one of Hollywood’s most prolific actresses and an Obama Administration appointee, Kerry...

How was it having Hill Harper play your husband?

It was great to have the opportunity to work with Hill, since he’s a friend, and we’ve traveled together along this political/artistic path. It was also nice to be able to tell this story of supportive, positive love between a black man and woman. I know that was important to Tyler and we felt very blessed to take on that responsibility.

Even though the film is specifically about “Colored Girls,” would you say it explores themes which resonate with all women?

Absolutely! On the set, we even talked to each other about how universal the journeys of these characters are. So, the spectrum of colors that we’re referencing really reflects a rainbow of human emotions. We’re talking about being sad and blue, or red with rage, or green with envy. Those are the colors that we girls are embodying.

What African American icon would you like to portray in a movie?

Angela Davis is somebody I have my eye on. Also Diahann Carroll.

What do you struggle with as an actress: honesty in your roles, diving into the depth of your characters, or just navigating the crazy landscape of Hollywood and auditioning?

D, all of the above! [Laughs]

How do you feel about the recent backlash against President Obama? Why hasn’t there been a massive pushback by the Democratic Party against all the recent unfair rhetoric?

It’s exciting to me that people know that I’m someone who’s very political. For full disclosure, it’s important for me to say that I’m a member of the administration now because I’m on President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities. So, I’m not unbiased. I’m really proud of everything that he’s accomplished in his first couple of years. I think it’s great that all of us Americans were inspired to work so hard [to] get him elected. But now, the most important thing people can do in this representative democracy is to stay active and interested, if we want to continue the momentum of change.    

Are you happy?

I think I am, for the most part. But everybody has ups and downs, right? I have bad moments, but not many bad days.

The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

About 15 minutes ago. I loooooove to laugh! [Laughs]

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Popcorn and massages.

What is your favorite dish to cook?

Baking and decorating cakes, but I don’t even eat them, because I try to stay away from wheat. I just made my own icing from scratch the other day, but it didn’t come out very well. I’m working on refining that.

What was the last book you read?

Jane Alexander’s memoirs called “Command Performance.”

What was the last song you listened to? 

“Hot Tottie” by Usher and Jay-Z.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. If I ever have a family one day, everything else will pale in importance to that.