Devoted fans of ABC’s hit political drama, Scandal, can get a fix of their beloved Olivia Pope in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.
Kerry Washington, who plays Pope on the series, graces the magazine’s cover in a white backless bathing suit, accented with smokey eye makeup and matte crimson lips. Inside the glossy she details the preparation needed for playing such an aspirational character, including conference calls with real-life Olivia Pope Judy Smith and reading Jeffrey Toobin’s The Nine to learn Supreme Court inner-workings. Washington maintains she isn’t as smart as the character she plays (we beg to differ) but admires her just the same.
“What I think is cool about Olivia is that she fully owns being a woman,” Washington said. “There’s a very nurturing sense of ‘I’m going to take care of you—don’t worry about it. I’m going to be your mom in this situation. You can come stay in my office, have a cup of tea, and let my gladiators [her pet name for employees in her crisis management firm] take care of you.”
Pick up your August issue of Vanity Fair, Washington’s second major fashion cover, out on newsstands July 9th, to learn more about how she gets into character and what we can expect from season three of Scandal when it returns in the fall.