After five seasons of kicking ass and taking names as Scandal's political fixer Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington has become the face of female empowerment on TV. And her latest role, as law professor Anita Hill in HBO’s Confirmation, continues that inspiring streak.
“I like to think these roles actually pick me,” Washington (in Brandon Maxwell) told InStyle at the N.Y.C. premiere of Confirmation. “Maybe it's because I need to learn to be more empowered in my own life. Either way, I know that every time I play one of these women, it helps me with my personal power too.”
The other major thing that makes the actress feel like a boss? “My Beyoncé and Rihanna playlists!” she said, citing Rihanna's hit “Work” as a current fave. “What else does a girl need?”
Perhaps then, it was Beyonce's “Run The World (Girls)” that motivated Washington to not only star in, but executive produce, Confirmation. The film centers around Clarence Thomas’s 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings, where Hill shocked the country by alleging that Thomas had sexually harassed her—a courageous move that brought workplace inequality to light throughout Washington D.C. and beyond.
“I was drawn to this project because it was a pivotal moment in my childhood,” said Washington. "I remember my parents arguing about the hearings and ever since then it has always had a special place in my psyche. With the movie, I wanted to peel back the curtain even more to find out what Anita was going through—and lucky for me other people felt the same way.”
Watch HBO's Confirmation on April 16th at 8 p.m. ET. And check out the trailer below.