Kerry Washington: I could relate to my character in The Prom
Kerry Washington could identify with her character through personal experience in 'The Prom'.
The 43-year-old actress plays the ultra-conservative Mrs. Greene in Ryan Murphy's musical comedy. Her character bans teenage lesbian Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) from attending a high school prom with her girlfriend and Kerry confessed she could relate through her family trying to stop her from taking up acting.
Kerry said: "It's different, but I could identify with the struggle of acceptance in my own family around my artistic calling.
"My mother's nightmare was for me to be a starving actress. She felt, life is hard enough for you as a woman, as a person of colour; why would you take on this additional struggle?
"And I think a lot of parents feel that way about their LGBTQ kids, right? Why would you choose – as if it's a choice – to make life even more difficult."
The 'Scandal' star confessed she could appreciate why Murphy cast her in the role of Mrs. Greene as the lack of acceptance for LGBTQ children is an "awful epidemic in the black community."
Kerry said: "When Ryan called me and said: 'I think I want you to play her, and here's why.' I knew why.
"I knew that, number one, this problem of homophobia within families, and parents not being able to accept their children, is an awful epidemic in the black community."
Washington's previous credits include 'Ray' and 'The Last King of Scotland' and she really enjoys being a character actor and "disappearing" into other people.
She told the Guardian newspaper: "For most of my career, I was really a character actor.
"People didn't connect that the girl from 'Ray' was the same girl from 'Last King of Scotland', was the same girl from 'Save the Last Dance'. And I loved that, because I got to disappear into these other people and it wasn't about me."