Variety: Lead Actress Emmy Nominees Rule the Political World

Lead Actress Nominees Rule the World


A political crisis manager (Kerry Washington) in “Scandal” weathered her own crisis to renounce her lover, the president of these United States. POTUS is the office to which “Veep” Julia Louis-Dreyfus ascended, while a different POTUS brought in a new, Machiavellian first lady (Robin Wright) on “House of Cards.”

Hillary Clinton hasn’t had a rougher roller coaster than Olivia Pope on “Scandal.” After a “fierce” (Kerry Washington’s word) second season, season 3 saw the character at her lowest ebb, with shocking revelations about her parents. Now, instead of taking up her fixer role again, she’s opting out — for the time being, anyway.

“It’s almost as if having to face her past she doesn’t need to continue old patterns of pain. She wants to start over … I had to become a different kind of Olivia.”

Women like Olivia, Washington says, “are incredibly powerful in some ways and also vulnerable in others. That complexity is really exciting to play as an actress,” not to mention subversing gender roles. “People are used to seeing women in a more vulnerable position, so getting to be in a powerful position you get to be fully human.”