Red carpet fashionista and talented actress Kerry Washington plays the ‘boss lady’ on her hit ABC show, Scandal. Her powerful role as Olivia Pope, the woman who can do anything has women all over wishing they were her. Not only because of her drool-worthy fashion on the show – sexy, stylish power suits and stunning dresses.
Her ‘I am in charge, don’t mess with me’ stance on the show is what has fashionistas all over the country tuning in every week. That, coupled with the fact that this is the first time African American women have seen themselves portrayed in a lead positive role on the small screen in over 30 years.
Now, Washington is starring in a completely different role for famed director, Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, ‘Django Unchained.’ A role, just as strong and just as powerful as Olivia Pope, but in a completely different light. One that takes her far away from the gorgeous red carpet dresses, but showcases her range of acting talent; and solidifies her skill set as a force to be reckoned with.
The actress plays Broomhilda, a slave sold away from her husband, Django, played by actor Jamie Foxx. The film centers on Django’s quest to rescue his wife and be free at any cost. The Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels spoke to Washington about her meaty new role. On December 24, 2012, Samuels wrote that for Washington, “it was simply the [movie’s] love story that won her over.”
“’How often do you see black women rescued by the man they love on screen,’” she asks Samuels. “’I’m a womanist and that’s real but there is beauty in knowing that the man you love will do anything to find you and will do it at any cost…. Black women deserve to see that and believe it too.’”
Washington told Samuels that most of Hollywood’s black actresses auditioned for the chance to play Broomhilda, and she was so honored to get the role herself that she did something she never done before; she cried.
Mix Tarantino’s love for gruesome scenes with one of the darkest periods in history and you have brutality at its worst. For Washington, this was so emotionally and mentally draining that “she asked her agent, parents, and even her therapist to fly in during filming to help her get through the emotional strain.”
The brutality of the movie, aside, the reality and significance of yesteryear’s Broomhilda and her historic journey to today’s Olivia Pope was not lost on the actress. Washington “felt good knowing that [she] was going from portraying a woman with no power and who is owned to a women who owns her own company and has tremendous power.” The ability to show both worlds – the black woman’s past and how far she has come – appealed to the actress.
‘Django Unchained’ also stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, among others. It opens in theaters, today, Christmas day, but there is one person who will not be seeing it. Director, Spike Lee plans to boycott the movie. On December 24th, the New York Daily News reported that Lee was “boycotting the new movie because he finds it insulting.” “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them,” Lee wrote on Twitter.
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