Kerry Washington was 'terrified' by responsibility of playing Anita Hill

PASADENA, Calif. -- Kerry Washington says she was acutely aware of the challenge of playing Anita Hill in a miniseries dramatizing Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

See Full Article

"I was terrified. Portraying somebody who's real is a different kind of responsibility, especially when they're alive. That significance was not lost on me," Washington told a TV critics' meeting Thursday.

Washington, who is also an executive producer on HBO's "Confirmation," debuting in April, said she was 14 in 1991 when Hill emerged as a witness against Thomas, accusing him of workplace sexual harassment a decade before.

The actress recalled her parents' passionate and contrasting reactions to the hearings, which she said made her determined that the miniseries avoid any "one-note" approach to the event and the people involved.

Thomas is played by Wendell Pierce ("Treme," "Ray Donovan"), who said he searched "for the humanity of the character" as actors typically do.

"I had to check my own prejudice about who I thought he was, and then I had this wonderful epiphany studying the man and realizing how much we had in common," Pierce said, including family roots in the South and influential grandfathers.

"I didn't think of him as a political figure. I thought of him as a man about to lose the greatest opportunity he ever had," Pierce said.

Thomas, who denied Hill's allegations, remains a Supreme Court justice.

Washington, who stars as a political crisis manager in "Scandal," was asked if her ABC series and "Confirmation" made her more or less cynical about Washington.

"I'm really inspired by the difference a person can make in Washington and the kind of cultural shift" that followed the hearings, she said, with new attention to issues including harassment, victim's rights, race and power.

Neither Washington nor others who involved in the project, including Greg Kinnear as U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, expressed an opinion during the Q&A session about Hill's or Thomas' version of events.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Author Philip Roth dead at 85

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, from the comic madness of "Portnoy's Complaint" to the elegiac lyricism of "American Pastoral," died Tuesday night at age 85. Source
  • Woman accuses R. Kelly of sex abuse

    Entertainment CBC News
    A woman has filed a lawsuit against R. Kelly, accusing the singer of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with herpes and locking her in rooms for punishment. Faith Rodgers says in the suit filed Monday in New York that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San Antonio, Texas. Source
  • Watchdog group calls on Netflix to pull 13 Reasons Why

    Entertainment CBC News
    A media watchdog group is calling on Netflix to pull its 13 Reasons Why series because of potentially harmful content. The Parents Television Council describes the second season of the series as "a ticking time bomb to teens and children. Source
  • GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Woman," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization GLAAD. Source
  • Kathy Griffin keeping her head up with world comedy tour

    Entertainment CTV News
    Comedian Kathy Griffin is turning to the friendly grounds of Canada for her world redemption tour after landing squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump, Trump nation, and even her own mother. Griffin, 57, found herself in hot water last year when she posted a mock photo of herself with a ketchup-drenched Halloween mask made to look like the severed head of Donald Trump. Source
  • Judge authorizes class-action against former impresario Gilbert Rozon

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec Superior Court has authorized a class-action lawsuit against former Just For Laughs head Gilbert Rozon. Several women sought permission last fall to file the suit against the co-founder of the popular comedy festival for alleged sexual assault and harassment. Source
  • Avicii's family says DJ-producer's funeral will be private

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The family of late Swedish DJ-producer Avicii says his funeral will be private. In a statement released Tuesday, Avicii's family says the funeral will include "people who were closest" to the performer. Source
  • Mulroney takes pride in his kids' 'joyful' wedding performances

    Entertainment CTV News
    Ben Mulroney says he and his wife Jessica resorted to months and months of “bribery and mild threatening” in the hopes of good behaviour from their three children who played a big role in Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Source
  • Robert Indiana, known for LOVE series, dies at 89

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89. Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he had lived for years on Vinalhaven Island, said James Brannan, his attorney. Source
  • Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a pair of enchanted shoes. Source