Kerry Washington: Olivia Pope Is Not Your Role Model

And that's a good thing.

(Image credit: Archives)

If you—like the majority of us—ever wish to be more like (or maybe even *just* like) Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington is here to change your mind. The actress, who originated the beloved role on ABC's Scandal, wants you to know that her character is not one to be idolized. 

"I've always thought it was misguided when people tell me that Olivia is their role model," the 38-year-old revealed Tuesday at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills. But why?

"Because she's having an affair with a married man, who is President of the United States," she explained, before adding, "And a murderer."


Still, Washington recognizes that her character has some role-model-worthy traits: "She's an entrepreneur, she's very smart, she has an amazing closet." 

Of course, the fact that Olivia Pope is not a role-model, that she's nuanced and multi-dimensional just like real people, is perhaps more important. 

"One of the things that Shonda does, and [How to Get Away With Murder creator] Pete [Nowalk] does, is all of these characters are complicated characters," Washington noted. "There are no good guys and bad guys in Shondaland. You have three-dimensional, messy human beings. Nothing is perfect in Shondaland."

Olivia Pope—perfectly imperfect if you ask us.