Kerry Washington on why her kids are not immune from police brutality just because she’s famous

Kerry Washington has taken her critically acclaimed Broadway play “American Son” to the big screen at the Toronto Film Festival 2019, where it has packed an equally emotional wallop, not just on the audiences, but on herself as well.

“American Son” tells the story of interracial parents (Washington and Steven Pasquale), who reunite in a South Florida police station seeking answers when their teenage goes missing. The story of a mother struggling for the truth was one that resonated deeply with Washington, who has a son and daughter of her own.

“In my seven seasons of ‘Scandal,’ it was such a tremendously blessed journey where I got to meet myself in a lot of places, but exploring themes of my motherhood was not one of them because Olivia chose not to be a mom,” Washington told TheWrap editor in chief Sharon Waxman at their TIFF studio. “It’s been really exciting in ‘American Sun’ and also now in ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ (a mini-series she’s currently filming for Hulu), to really be embracing material that is deeply about what it means to be a mom.”

.And with parenthood comes the reality of what that means in the world today, especially for people of color. Washington doesn’t think her children will escape that reality or are in any way immune from police brutality just because she’s famous.

“No, absolutely not,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how famous you are or how famous your husband is, you know that when those people in positions of authority with deadly weapons on their hip, when they see a young black kid with a hoodie walking down the street, they don’t know who that kid belongs to. And they don’t care until, maybe, they’re told. But who knows if they’ll have the chance to tell.”

11 PHOTOS
Kerry Washington and husband Nnamdi Asomugha together
See Gallery
Kerry Washington and husband Nnamdi Asomugha together
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions )
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26: Kerry Washington and husband Nnamdi Asomugha pose at a screening for Annapurna Pictures film 'If Beale Street Could Talk' hosted by Kerry Washington at Landmark 57 Theatre on November 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03: Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha attend the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03: Actors Nnamdi Asomugha (L) and Kerry Washington with FIJI Water during the 33rd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for FIJI Water)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26: (L-R) Writer/Director Barry Jenkins, Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha pose at a screening for Annapurna Pictures film 'If Beale Street Could Talk' hosted by Kerry Washington at Landmark 57 Theatre on November 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: (L-R) Nnamdi Asomugha, Kerry Washington, Edward Enninful, Ella Balinska, Hikari Mori, Stefano Tonchi and Tory Burch attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington are seen on March 03, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03: (L-R) Actors Kerry Washington, Nnamdi Asomugha and Molly Shannon attend the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Former football player Nnamdi Asomugha and Honoree Kerry Washington attend the Bronx Children's Museum Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on May 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Former football player Nnamdi Asomugha and Honoree Kerry Washington attend the Bronx Children's Museum Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on May 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kerry Washington, and former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha attend the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Pier on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Washington, who also produced the film along with Shonda Rhimes, Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union, believes that the characters she plays teaches her something about herself – and Kendra is no exception.

“I’m trying to be of service to other people, but there is a selfish part of it that’s like, ‘Oh, this character has come into my life because there is something that I need to work through,’ and if I can have the courage to meet the material where it is and work through it, then I will allow my audience, the people that come to it, to see a truth and learn something about themselves.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.