How Kerry Washington's 'Scandal' Character Inspired Her to Become a Mom

PHOTO: Kerry Washington attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.PlayPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
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Olivia Pope may have decided against becoming a mom on the hit show "Scandal," but star Kerry Washington still found inspiration in the character she plays to become a mom herself.

"Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom," Washington told the April issue of Elle magazine. "Because she knows there's always another way -- there's always a way to fix it, there's always a way to solve it, to win. And I feel like playing her made me feel like, all right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all."

The ultimate juggler, though, is the woman she calls her boss, friend and mentor, "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes.

"She's been such an amazing resource, as a mom, and as a working mom," Washington told Elle. "I am on one show and I have one kid, and she has three shows and three kids."

Departing from her no-family-talk rule, Washington divulged that her husband, Nnamdi Asomugha, was at home listening to the audio version of Rhimes' book "Year of Yes."

"We bought it for a bunch of people for Christmas because I feel like it's a little bit of required reading," Washington said.

Meanwhile, she's hoping people tune in for her new HBO film "Confirmation," which she produced and stars in as Anita Hill.

"This moment was so important because it created a language around women being able to protect themselves," she said of Hill's testimony before Congress during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. "The behavior that Anita Hill described was going on in a lot of offices throughout the country, and most people didn't think they were doing anything wrong."

She continued, "But this created awareness around that and around the need for women's voices to be heard in our public spaces, both testifying before Congress and sitting on the committee. It really was such a huge cultural shift."

It's the kind of project that the politically vocal Washington believes in.

"I'm a person who's always been politically active and passionate about people's rights," she told Elle. "I marched against the [2004] Republican Convention. And as my career has expanded, it's been important for me to not stifle that voice. Because you want to be popular, you want people to hire you, and I have to make sure I don't do it less because I'm an actor."

PHOTO: Kerry Washington appears in the April 2016 issue of Elle magazineDan Martensen for ELLE
Kerry Washington appears in the April 2016 issue of Elle magazine