Kerry Washington is giving details in the new issue of AdWeek, looking amazing in a photoshoot as she talks about the end of Scandal.
Here are the highlights.
On what she found fascinating about "Confirmation": One of the reasons I was drawn to the project was because even though the environmental context was similar, this is a woman who is on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of access and power. That part of it was fascinating for me, to flip the circumstance upside down, to not be an insider.
On THAT abortion scene on "Scandal": I had no idea that the abortion scene was coming until I turned the page at the table read and read it out loud with everybody else.
On getting her childhood friend turned social media manager on board with "Scandal" going viral: I knew from my work on the Obama campaign how vital social had been to our being able to elect President [Barack] Obama....I came across an article about the most tweeted-about shows, sent it to Allison and said, "I want Scandal to be on this list next year." And she said, "In order to accomplish that, probably everybody on the show should be on Twitter."
I was really aware of the dynamics of being what they call a "No. 1" on a call sheet. I've never wanted to come across as bossy or abuse that position with my castmates or with the crew. So I called Shonda and said, "If you ask the crew to go on Twitter, then they'll do it because you are our boss." She loved that idea and she didn't demand, but she encouraged everyone to do it—and of course, because she's Shonda Rhimes, everybody did. We have this show that we were really passionate about, and the truth was the network had only given us a limited [first] season, and we wanted to do what we could on a grassroots level to promote the show because we were so proud of it.
On choosing brands she partners with: I'm not interested in partnering with brands where I have to conform to match their brand identity. If somebody doesn't want to work with me because I do a speech at the Democratic National Convention, that's fine.
On being a partner with brands, not just a spokesperson: When I joined [Neutrogena], I think the darkest foundation shade was tan, and it was not a match for me [laughs]. They wanted to elevate their beauty profile and really lean into their makeup line, relaunch and expand it. I don't want to work places where I don't get to have a voice, and this felt like a place where I actually could have a really important voice.
On how that Apple music commercial came about with Taraji P. Henson and Mary J. Blige: Steve Stoute, who is the head of Translation Marketing, and is like the brother I never had, and Jimmy Iovine at Apple Music. Steve felt like people know the Olivia Pope side of me, and the real-world White House side of me, and the magna cum laude Kerry who gives speeches at commencements, but they don't really know hip-hop Kerry and Kerry from the Bronx, the way Steve does. He felt like that was a part of my brand that I wasn't doing a good enough job getting out there.
On Hillary Clinton coming to the set: I had recorded a few radio spots for the campaign. Hillary was in town for a fundraiser, and Tony [Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant] and I thought we might get off work in time to go, but we didn't. So I emailed Huma [Abedin, Clinton's longtime aide] and said, "Why don't you guys come here?" And they were able to. It was very surreal, because at some point you couldn't tell the difference between our pretend Secret Service on the show, and the real Secret Service walking on the set.