Kerry Washington: Is it a Scandal to be typecast?

Kerry Washington has graced magazine covers such as Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, Vanity Fair, and Essence but to name a few.

Kerry Washington has graced magazine covers such as Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, Vanity Fair, and Essence but to name a few. She is the star of Scandal, one of the hottest shows out now on ABC and More4, with amazing supporting cast members, including Columbus Short and Darby Stanchfield.
Olivia Pope, the character played by Washington, leads a team of Washington D.C. lawyers who specialise in making scandals disappear. As they secretly handle crises in the highest levels of government, the dysfunctional team must also cope with problems closer to home.
Something of a mystery…
If you’re still not familiar with the beautiful, talented Kerry Washington it’s probably because she isn’t one of the half-naked, twerking female celebrities that are stealing the headlines. She is mysterious. We don’t really know much about her private life – she kept her marriage to professional athlete and San Francisco 49ers player, Nnamdi Asomugha, out of the spotlight and I respect her for that. This means that she is judged on her acting abilities rather than what she gets up to in her spare time. For this reason I adore her. She appears to have the quality of that perfect best friend that we long for, the kind that gives you solid advice and keeps you level headed. If I had to pick a celebrity to swap places with…it would be Kerry Washington.
No-one disses Queen Kerry!
I was watching Scandal with a friend of mine, who’d not seen seasons one or two but decided to join me in watching the opening episodes of the third season. During the show, she asked me a thought provoking question: “Why the hell is Olivia Pope always friggin’ crying or looking like she’s about to cry in this show?” Straight away I jumped to the defense of my idol’s character by saying: “She’s only emotional when the scene calls for it and when it does she does so very well!“I gave my imaginary Kerry a high five thinking I’ve got your back, girl!
However, my friend persisted by saying she felt it wasn’t an isolated situation and all Kerry Washington’s performances (or at least most) have a “I’m about to break down and cry” scene. Jumping to defend Kerry again, I interrupted with not recalling her breaking down in Django Unchained. But my home girl stated the opposite. So it got me thinking – was Kerry Washington being typecast in the roles made available to her as an actress? I have to strongly disagree, Washington has been lucky playing varied roles for television and films.   
Kerry Washington as Ray Charles' Wife     
In the movie Ray, she played famous musician Ray Charles’ wife, accurately portraying the position of a partner whose other half is a renowned entertainer. Not only did she have this to battle with Ray Charles was addicted to drugs and their relationship was plagued with infidelity, which produced a child. Kerry brilliantly conveyed the strength of the character who tried her hardest to keep her family together through the emotional turmoil.
This year’s Quentin Tarantino directed Django Unchained gave Washington the chance to play opposite Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio. People may assume her character is yet another victim but she was portraying the hardship that slaves received in that time. Her character was constantly punished and thrown into a hole for days without food because she would rebel against the rules of her superiors, something I’m sure you’ll agree, takes balls to pull of realistically.
       Kerry Washington in Django Unchained       
Now in Scandal, the programme that sparked the whole disagreement with my friend, Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope does show signs of emotional stress and weakness. But she also shows a lot of strength, by keeping her team together as they take on high profile cases, which nine times out of ten are successfully cleared up; eliminating and defusing the situation before the scandal ruins clients’ lives.
Typecasting brings in the bucks for some
In my opinion, my girlfriend’s statement is a little premature as she is judging Kerry Washington based on the two episodes of Scandal she watched. I do admit that her character is seen quite a few times almost and actually crying on screen but you can’t attach the label of typecast on Kerry Washington from the opportunites her career has brought. Many actors and actresses are typecast and would love the opportunity to show the variety they have as trained performers in diverse roles that stretch their artistic soul. However, in the fickle entertainment industry, many are happy to be working to support themselves. 
I think the real reason behind my home girl’s dislike of Scandal is because she’s convinced herself she wouldn’t buy into the hype. So by subjecting her to watching the show, it forced her to pick at it and the main character, played by Washington. She’s a hater.
It would be interesting to hear what you think of Kerry Washington, whether you’re fan of the show or not. Either way my opinion won’t change; I’ll be loyal to Livy, I mean Olivia, till the end.
Is Kerry Washington your Scandal star? Is the actress worthy of her hype? Have your say in the comments section.