April 17, 2014 -- Kerry Washington has always welcomed the challenge of playing Washington, D.C. fixer Olivia Pope on "Scandal."
However, now that the actress is pregnant, portraying such a physical character has become even more intense.
"I work very physically as an actor. The biggest thing for me has been the challenge of how to be this person [Olivia Pope] with the personal transformation that's going on for me physically and how to stay true to this character. That hasn't been easy," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's been an awesome challenge for me as an actor because so much of how I access character is through my body. It's definitely been complicated to say the least. I've learned a lot about other ways to access Olivia and be her."
Washington, 37, and her husband, former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, 32, are expecting their first child this year. However, her "Scandal" character is not pregnant, which means that Washington had to conceal her baby bump throughout this past season.
"I'm just grateful for how hard everybody has worked to maintain the authenticity of this character in this world," she said. "I'm grateful to [costume designer] Lyn Paolo and all our producers. ... I feel very grateful that we have such an amazing team that was able to protect the character within the context of what the actress was going through."
However, the decision to separate Washington's real life from Pope's was not her own, Washingotn said. Series creator Shonda Rimes made the final call.
"I trust Shonda with all things," she said.