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Kerry Washington: I'll never be silenced

Kerry Washington is adamant she won't be silenced, even though speaking her views can be scary.

The 38-year-old star has been an actress for years but her fame ramped up a gear when she began appearing as fixer Olivia Pope in TV show Scandal. She keeps her personal life largely on the down low, but is open about the matters which mean most to her - such as equality and supporting the Democratic Party.

"It's important to my parents, so this is who I would be, regardless [of my fame]," she explained to British magazine Glamour. "I have to make sure that I don't silence myself about the things that I believe in, because sometimes the fear creeps in of, 'What if fewer people watch the show, or fewer people hire me because I express my politics?' For me, the commitment is to never be quiet just because I'm in the public eye."

Scandal has been a smash hit all over the world, mainly due to Olivia. She appeals to many because of the dual sides of her personality - at work she is tough and can't be beaten, but in private she's struggling to decide which of two men she wants to be with.

Kerry is just glad the character has resonated.

"I remember they were feeling nervous about how it was going to do overseas, because political shows don't always do so well. But it's not just about politics, it's about these really flawed, imperfect, three-dimensional people. I love that these characters are resonating across borders," she enthused.

It's also exciting for Kerry that the programme has been such a hit as she's experienced peaks and troughs in her career.

"When I read [movie] Ray for the first time, I had just quit. When I read [film] The Last King of Scotland, I had just quit," she laughed. "I hadn't quite quit when I read Scandal, but I was feeling really unfulfilled as an actor."

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