Olivia Pope concealed it well! Kerry Washington, in a rare moment of candor regarding her personal life, revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that her most challenging scenes ever on Scandal were shot during her pregnancy.
"All of last season was a challenge for me, on a few levels," the Emmy-nominated actress, 37, told the mag. "For one thing, I was going through this amazing physical transition, this physical journey of having a baby, that my character was not going through. And I work very physically. What I do is often grounded in the body."
Us Weekly exclusively revealed last October that the star was expecting her first child with husband Nnamdi Asomugha. At the time, the actress still had many more scenes ahead in the 18-episode third season of ABC's smash drama.
"That meant I had to figure out how to be this woman while my instrument was changing and evolving every day," she said of her pregnant body. "It was like seeing the keys on a piano jump around on a daily basis. It was tough for me to even maintain Olivia's walk because of the changes."
As Washington experienced the physical changes, she also grappled with the emotional highs and lows, too. "At the same time, everything I understood about Olivia unraveled because of the shorelines," she told THR.
"The season really broke me. I'm a Type A actor who likes to have it all figured out going in, but suddenly I had no idea where this woman was going to go next. I had to jump in without everything being perfect. I felt like I had been in control playing the character, but it all got taken away from me last season. That meant my acting toolbox had to be upgraded. I had to trade in my screwdriver and hammer for a Black and Decker power tool."
Washington welcomed her daughter, Isabelle Amarachi Asomugha, on April 21 in L.A. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, July 31, the actress was greeted by praises from the show host. "I can't believe you had a baby and you look like this," Kimmel exclaimed. "It's against the rules!"
Washington truly felt the love throughout her pregnancy from her fellow Scandal costars and creator Shonda Rhimes, who even threw her a baby shower in February.
In a separate interview with THR in April, Washington lauded the show's crew for their support in helping conceal her pregnancy on the show. "I'm just grateful for how hard everybody has worked to maintain the authenticity of this character in this world," she said. "I'm grateful to [costume designer] Lyn Paolo and all our producers."