In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington revealed that her character Olivia Pope on Scandal inspired her to write her memoir, Thicker Than Water, and helped her realize that she needed to step into the lead role of her own life.
Washington explained that she had always felt defined by her parents, but after learning that her mother had conceived her via sperm donor, she realized that she needed to explore who she really is independently. “I never understood my story,” she said. “I didn’t really feel like I understood my calling, my mission, my passion, my life didn’t really make sense to me, because I felt like there was more and I didn’t know what the ‘more’ was.”
Washington said that up until the age of 40, she had been the supporting character in the story of her parents’ lives. “This has been their narrative and I’ve been the co-star,” she said. But now, she’s ready to take center stage. “It’s time for me to step into the role of as protagonist in my life. I need to be the lead character of my life, and let them be supporting characters. I need to figure out what my story is.”
Washington added that she doesn’t mind being a supporting character to her loved ones, but she wants it to be a choice, not because she doesn’t know how to be the lead of her own life.
Kerry Washington is excited to be joining Oprah Winfrey in Tyler Perry film ‘Six Triple Eight’ pic.twitter.com/DlgNfLK5R8
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The actress credits her time on Scandal with helping her to develop the courage to write her memoir. “This book is kind of me attempting to step into the lead role as the character in the story of my life, and I think that Olivia Pope taught me that I could do that,” she said.
Washington hopes that her memoir will inspire others to take control of their own stories and become the protagonists of their own lives. “Every single one of us deserves to be the lead character in the story of their lives,” she said.