Kerry Washington Says Hiding Pregnancy While Filming Scandal Was “An Awesome Challenge”

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington says filming Scandal while pregnant was "an awesome challenge" -- and not just for the costume designers Richard Cartwright/ABC

It's not easy being Olivia Pope — especially when you're trying to hide a bigger-by-the-day baby belly! Scandal leading lady Kerry Washington hit a few bumps (pun intended) on the road to becoming her onscreen alter ego after finding out last fall that she was pregnant and expecting her first child with new husband Nnamdi Asomugha.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Washington, 37, opens up about the difficulties she faced in trying to conceal her pregnancy on the show.

"I work very physically as an actor," the mom-to-be explained of her process. "The biggest thing for me has been the challenge of how to be this person [Olivia Pope] with the personal transformation that's going on for me physically and how to stay true to this character."

She continued: "That hasn't been easy. It's been an awesome challenge for me as an actor because so much of how I access character is through my body. It's definitely been complicated, to say the least. I've learned a lot about other ways to access Olivia and be her."

She had some help, of course, in the form of the show's costume designer Lyn Paolo and writer/creator Shonda Rhimes. "I'm just grateful for how hard everybody has worked to maintain the authenticity of this character in this world," Washington told THR. "I'm grateful to Lyn Paolo and all our producers."

As for whether the showrunners ever considered incorporating the pregnancy into the plot? "The decision of whether or not a character would be on a similar journey, I had nothing to do with that decision," the actress said. "I trust Shonda with all things. I feel very grateful that we have such an amazing team that was able to protect the character within the context of what the actress was going through."

Scandal's season three finale airs Thursday, April 17, at 10 p.m.

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