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Kerry Washington: 'Colour was a huge change for Scandal character'

Published 22/03/2016

Kerry Washington: 'Colour was a huge change for Scandal character'
Kerry Washington: 'Colour was a huge change for Scandal character'

Kerry Washington is pleased she lives in a world where female role models are now able to be both clever and stylish.

Actress Kerry Washington's Scandal wardrobe started to mimic her own when the writers introduced more colour to her clothes.

The 39-year-old plays political fixer Olivia Pope in the hit series, and admits her alter ego is starting to merge with her real personality, at least when it comes to fashion.

Olivia has become something of a style icon with fans since the TV series first aired in 2012 thanks to power dressing in monochrome business attire, but this is something which is changing in the new sixth season of the show.

"(My character's) not hiding anymore, and very specifically, the writers wrote in the script that Olivia Pope is wearing colour," she told Women's Wear Daily (WWD). "We didn't know what to do - this was such a huge change in how we approached her aesthetic, and I also felt like everything on the rack was me.

"It was more Kerry than it was Olivia, because we both have very high fashion profiles but I've been able to keep them very separate. So now there's a little bit more crossover."

Kerry attributes the change to the influence of real life female role models such as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Yahoo! boss Marissa Mayer, who she claims have defied convention by being both "fashion-forward and fierce".

Kerry's Scandal performance has been praised as an example of a strong and emotionally-nuanced female role, where brains are balanced with beauty, and she is glad to live in a world where female role models, both onscreen and off, can be both smart and pretty.

"Across the board a lot of men say, 'She's sexy, but she's scary'," Kerry recently said of her Olivia Pope character at Paris jewellery fair Baselworld, where she marked her 10th year as an ambassador for luxury watch company Movado.

"She's scary, she's the fixer, she has power," she continued. "And women say, 'I want to be her.' It's fascinating, the different perspectives."

ABC is yet to confirm a specific release date for the show.

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