As weird as it may seem, it was unusual for Kerry Washington to wake up to the sound of an active phone.
But with nothing to digitally chirp about given that “Scandal” is on summer hiatus, Washington had grown accustomed to a somewhat less lively phone — at least where morning is concerned.
“I was sleeping, and my phone started making a lot of noise,” she told The Times by phone. “I had it on very, very low volume because I feel like phones on vibrate make even more noise. So normally that kind of volume doesn’t wake me up unless its very repetitive. And, oh, was it repetitive. I picked up my phone and saw there was a reason for all the activity. And it had nothing to do with a plane ride!”
The 37-year-old actress was referring to the Season 3 closer that saw her character, Olivia Pope, jet off into the sunset with Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), seemingly putting an nail in the Fitz coffin.
“I feel very humbled because I wasn’t expecting it,” she said of her nomination for lead actress in a drama series. “This stuff is never a sure thing.”
Among the Emmy snubs and surprises: “The Good Wife,” Ricky Gervais, Tatiana Maslany and “Masters of Sex.”
Leading up to the finale moments and the plane ride, the third season was at high speed. Viewers were introduced to Olivia’s mommy and daddy issues with the additions of Khandi Alexander as her mother, Maya Lewis, and Joe Morton as her father, Rowan Pope. (Morton also received a nod for guest actor.)
It revealed an Olivia beyond her role as mistress, friend or boss — looking at her through the lens of a daughter. A daughter of destructive parents.
“It’s funny — in Seasons 1 and 2, I felt like my work was really about wrapping my head around trying to balance how powerful she is at work with how powerless she is in her personal life,” she said. “And then bringing in the role of daughter really helped me to understand both of those things. It made me aware that those parts of her are so fragile.”
As the Shonda Rhimes drama prepares to enter its fourth season in the fall, Washington isn’t sure what she hopes to see from Olivia. And that’s always been the fun part. Of course, she is curious about one thing.