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August 02, 2020

People: Kerry Washington Reveals What Her Mom Valerie Wanted Her to Be

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Iconic actress Kerry Washington recently revealed that when she was younger, her mother begged her to pursue a career in law rather than be an actress.

Kerry Washington gained widespread recognition for her starring role as crisis management expert Olivia Pope in the hit ABC series "Scandal" from 2012 to 2018.

Since then, Washington has risen to become one of the most prominent television stars of her generation. In 2018, she was named as the eighth highest-paid TV actress by Forbes. 

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And more recently, the actress has received multiple Emmy nominations for her performance in Netflix's "American Son" and Hulu's "Little Fires Everywhere." 

However, if her mother, Valerie had her way, Washington wouldn't be gaining this much recognition for acting today. 

While Washington was growing up, Valerie, a retired college professor, urged her daughter to pursue a career in law because she was unable to see a path to success in acting. During a recent interview with PEOPLE, Washington recalled her mom's convincing arguments,

"Oh my God, it's what she begged me to do. She used to say to me, 'Closing arguments are just like monologues. She was terrified to have a starving artist of a child."

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In 1998, Washington, 43, graduated from George Washington University with dual majors in Anthropology and Sociology. While she is not a lawyer, the "Ray" star has always maintained an interest in fighting for others.

The TV actress has been involved in several forms of social activism since she was a teenager. Recently, she claimed that art and social change are crucial parts of her life that cannot be separated.

Still, she has used her influence as a leading actress to touch many lives and tell the stories of minorities.

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Washington has shifted her focus to her latest project, co-producing the docu-series "The Fight," which shines the light on the lives of lawyers behind the American Civil Liberties Union. 

During a recent interview with ET's Kevin Frazier, Washington spoke about her new documentary and reserved special praise for the ACLU. She said,

"I've been calling them like real-life Avengers. They are like rockstars."

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"The Fight" is scheduled for release on Friday, July 31, by Magnolia Pictures. The film had its world premiere on January 24, 2020, at the Sundance Film Festival where it also won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking.

The movie has received positive reviews from a host of film critics and will be released through virtual cinemas and a few selected movie theaters.

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The TV star has been self-isolating with her husband Nnamdi Asomugha, 39, and kids Caleb, 3, Isabelle 6, and her stepdaughter.

She recently revealed how challenging it has been homeschooling her kids and remaining productive while working from home. 

Washington may not be a lawyer like her mother wanted yet she has used her influence as a leading actress to touch many lives and tell the stories of minorities who have been pushed to the edge by societal imbalances.

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