Kerry Washington spoke with Lena Dunham for Marie Claire about what she wants for her daughter Isabelle, 10 months Credit: Tesh/Marie Claire

Kerry Washington's daughter may not be old enough to talk yet, but she'll have a captive audience whenever she is. The Scandal star's biggest hope for her little girl is that she has a voice — and that other people listen to it.

Washington, 38, sat down with Lena Dunham recently for an interview in Marie Claire's April issue, which features the gorgeous Django Unchained actress on its cover. During their chat, she gave some rare insight into her personal life with husband Nnamdi Asomugha and their 10-month-old daughter, Isabelle Amarachi Asomugha, whom they welcomed in late April 2014.

"I just want [daughter Isabelle] to know that she's heard," the Golden Globe-nominated star told Dunham. "Really heard, because I feel like that is what we all really want." 

It's certainly what Washington wanted. "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," she shared. "I see you, I hear you, I'm with you as you are."

These days, it's hard to imagine anyone not taking notice of the actress. But it hasn't always been that way.

"I didn't grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me," she said. "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." 

Now what she has is a role on a hit TV show (among other things). Asked about her high-powered alter ego Olivia Pope, Washington told Dunham, "I'm very respectful of Shonda [Rhimes]' vision of who Olivia 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."