Kerry Washington talks “Scandal,” “She Hate Me” and that Dusty Springfield biopic


For the last couple of years, Kristin Chenoweth has told reporters how badly she wants to star in a biopic of the legendary bisexual vocalist Dusty Springfield. And as Dusty’s lover, Kristin wanted Kerry Washington for the part. The two have professed their desire to star together ever since, and it’s still not come to fruition.

I had to ask Chenoweth: Where is the movie? The lesbians need to know!

“Not just lesbians, maam, me!” Kristin said at the ABC TCA party. “You know what? I don’t know. We had a script that needed a lot of work, but Dolly Parton is writing her show so she wants me to do that. I’m like ‘Hurry up, Dolly!'”

But she hasn’t wavered on who she wants as her on-screen lover. “That’s my girl!” she said of Kerry. “Wouldn’t she be perfect with me? If I was lesbian, she’d be my girl.”

Obviously I would love to see this Dolly Parton film, but I’m still waiting on Dusty coming to screen. Kerry Washington agrees with me, but joked she wouldn’t discuss her private life with me when it comes to if she’d want to go gay with Kristin. “You know I don’t talk about my personal life with the press,” Kerry said, “but I’m flattered and I’ll be following up on your comment with Kristin, privately!”

Kerry famously played a bisexual character in She Hate Me, a Spike Lee film that the actress recalls fondly.

“What a role! I remember I got on a plane to go meet and read with Spike Lee without reading the script. Cuz they said got a call that “Spike Lee wants to audition you for his new film, the actress who was doing it fell out.” And I said “Of course!” And I got on a plane and I started reading the script as I’m flying from LA to New York and somewhere around Chicago, I was like ‘Oh my goodness. What is happening here!?'” Kerry said. “But yeah, I mean it was such a wonderful experience. Spike Lee created something called lesbian bootcamp, where all of the women in the movie sat around and had sexuality education for a week, so that everybody would feel really comfortable talking about things that aren’t often talked about openly.”

Kerry also played a queer character in The Dead Girl opposite Brittany Murphy in one of her last films.

“I was devastated,” Kerry said of Brittany’s passing. “It’s a very sad loss. She was tremendously talented!”

Kerry says she never questions playing roles that have sexuality that differs from her own. “For me, I love what I do and I like to be a part of interesting storytelling,” she said. “[My character in She Hate Me] was such a smart, fierce woman and I’d never seen a character like that portrayed on screen — a woman of color who was so successful, so in charge, so seductive — somebody who didn’t have to biforcate herself in being either smart or beautiful but was able to be all of that. I just thought this is an important character.”

On her new show, Scandal, Kerry plays another tough, successful woman who is not only in charge, but can strike fear in her subordinates. Everyone wants to work for her, but they’re a little terrified by her at the same time. But what Kerry enjoys about the new role is that the stories are anything but boring black and white.

“There are intense ethical debates on set,” she said. “Everyone wants to explore the grey areas on the show, of which there are many!”