‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington graces the cover of Marie Claire magazine and opens up about her upbringing, her daughter Isabelle, her decision to guard privacy as she became increasingly famous and more in an interview conducted by HBO Girls’ star Lena Dunham.

Kerry Washington

Photo: Kerry Washington
Credit: PR Photos

The 38-year-old actress is alluring on the cover of one of our most noted women’s magazines, and she has a candid conversation with self-described ‘Scandal’ fan Lena Dunham who “worships” her. While there are untold numbers of similarly worshiping fans, it was Dunham who was the lucky one who got to ask the questions we’ve been wanting the answers for — the real, truthful verified answers — from the woman who has brought Olivia Pope into our lives.

Foremost, we are curious about ‘Scandal’ that’s made her an international star. Kerry Washington opened up about what it is like working with the show’s creator, Shonda Rimes. She said, “I’m very respectful of Shonda’s vision of who Olivia [Pope] is, but she has said that she is informed by the choices I make. If we were waltzing, she’s definitely leading. And she picked the song, and she probably dressed us, but it is a waltz.”

She also shared her thoughts about her iconic character, saying, “I don’t think I consciously say, ‘What would Olivia Pope do?’ but there’s a new thread of belief in my own capacity that I think comes from her. She makes it happen. She figures it out. She fixes it.”

There is also Kerry Washington’s strong sense of privacy which has become a topic of interest to many. She did get married secretly in Idaho to NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha and announcing it months after the fact. As for her pregnancy, she simply let her change of wardrobe and her baby bump make the announcement.

She told Lena Dunham, “Earlier in my career I was much more super-sharey. There were moments when I wanted to process things that were happening to me more privately, and I didn’t have the space to do it, because once you let people in, they’re in and you don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I want this for myself.'”

She shared a few thoughts on how she is raising her daughter, , Isabelle Amarachi who was born in April of last year. She said that she wants her “to know that she’s heard.” She reiterated, saying, “Really heard, because I feel like that is what we all really want.” Drawing parallels with her own life she said, “When I think about any of the missteps in my life that I’ve made, all of which I’m grateful for, it’s because I just so wanted to be truly seen and heard for who I am and was afraid I wasn’t or wouldn’t be. I see you, I hear you, I’m with you as you are.”

She also opened up about her upbringing and said, “I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had.”

While not uncommon, it may strike us as surprising as Kerry Washington is among our most glamorous and beautiful television stars. There’s more to the interview, as we assume our places as the fly on the wall as Washington shares her thoughts with Lena Dunham. You can see the cover, photos and more of Kerry Washington’s Marie Claire interview here. Watch the behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot below.

Pictures: PR Photos