Kerry Washington Talks Live-Tweeting ‘Scandal’ During Labor and Being Olivia Pope for a Living

Without a doubt, Kerry Washington has one of the coolest jobs ever: playing Olivia Pope on Scandal.

And she knows it.

She feels very close to her character Pope, despite not always being 100% behind her decisions. She commented to DKNY PR Girl (@dkny) Aliza Licht for The Edit, “I love her. To me she’s like family, and with family, it doesn’t matter if you like them or not, you love them no matter what. I don’t always agree with her choices, but I have a lot of compassion for them.”

The difference between her and Pope is, she said, “I do a lot of therapy! Not to say that I have it all together, but I think I have a little bit more awareness about my behavior patterns and I do the work it takes to get out of them.

She also spoke to the mag about social media, since every Thursday when Scandal is on you’ll find Washington live-tweeting the episode (and her fans hanging on to her every tweet in the twittersphere…). For this reason, forget having plans on a Thursday night; Washington is busy.

She said, “I have no social life on a Thursday! Every Thursday within three weeks of my [daughter Isabelle’s] due date, I loaded up pre-tweets based on the episodes and what I would want to say.”

As for if she intently tweeting during labor, Washington confessed, “I tweeted in the very early stages of my labor. I figured that if I went completely silent on social media, then people would know I was in the hospital!”

When asked how she deals with any negativity (stemming from Twitter or haters otherwise), she said wisely, “I’m really open to freedom of expression and I’m open to differences in opinion. But I draw the line at any level of sexism, racism, hatred or violence, so I block or report those people to [Twitter’s] security.”

You may recall her amazing speech at last weekend’s GLAAD Media Awards in which she called for change in favor of “inclusive storytelling and inclusive representation” in the media.

Harking back to her speech, Washington also commented about her character not intentionally being positioned for political purposes (but often ending up one):

I don’t think [Scandal writer] Shonda Rhimes thinks in terms of messages, she thinks in terms of storytelling. She never wrote Olivia Pope to be a role model; she wrote her to be a human being, and part of what people identify with so much is that she is conflicted. In some ways, she’s so aspirational – you want to walk like her, dress like her, command attention like her and control a situation like her. In other ways, she’s a warning of what not to be.

In terms of her own political activity, she added, “I have a sense of responsibility that was ingrained in me as a kid, but I’m not perfect; I haven’t voted in every election. But I’m trying to be better about it because so many people put their lives on the line for me to have this right.”

And if she weren’t an actress, “I would be involved in politics, but I would probably be teaching. It’s what my mother did, so it’s in my blood. My mother is so badass. I watched her get her doctorate when I was a little girl: she got that around the same time that I graduated from kindergarten so we both had caps and gowns. I grew up with a belief in the importance of a woman’s mind and that has been a real gift for me.”

As for her husband (former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha) being Team Fitz or not, Washington replied, “I have never asked my husband that, actually. But I would say that we are all ‘Team Shonda’. I really love that in the episode Where The Sun Don’t Shine, Olivia said, ‘I choose me. That is a really powerful message.”

Additionally, Washington confessed that to get into the Olivia Pope mindset, she’s got to be in her shoes. “The biggest thing for me are the shoes. I’ll wear Uggs around set, but I can’t rehearse a scene in them because I don’t feel like Olivia until I put the shoes on. Shoes define how you walk in the world and how you stand, like: what is your posture in life?”

Lasty, how does Washington want Olivia Pope to be remembered? “I hope people remember her as a complicated, fully realized human being; she’s not a stereotype and she’s not an accessory. I think that it’s important for women to know, in film and in TV and in life, that you can be the lead of your own story. I hope she’s remembered for that, as somebody who is the driving force of her own life.”

Kerry Washington is the latest cover star of Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, in which she models her glam, all-natural look supported by a light, subdued color scheme of tans, whites, greens and shades of grey. Check out her great looks in the gallery above and read her entire interview here.

Tune in to Season 4 of Scandal on Thursdays on ABC at 9/8 c.