Kerry Washington praises Scandal's writers for challenging her acting ability

Kerry Washington on the red carpet of ABC Upfronts. (Patricia Schlein/

Kerry Washington has praised "Scandal's"writers for taking "phenomenal" risks with her character and giving her challenging storylines.

The 40-year-old actress is best known for playing Olivia Pope on the political drama, which follows her and her team of "gladiators" solving various controversial scenarios.

Washington takes on a variety of exciting storylines throughout the program, including her character's affair with the U.S. President, played by Tony Goldwyn, and the mother-of-two enjoys being given challenges by the script team.

"Television can feel restricting to some actors, but I’m lucky because our writers remain inventive and they are incredible, phenomenal risk-takers," Kerry told "I get to benefit from always being surprised by Olivia’s huge journey and the fact that she really is having an evolution."

Scandal's season six came to an end on Thursday night and the upcoming season seven will be the show's last. But Kerry will remain forever grateful for being given the role on the drama, and how it has contributed to her life as a whole.

"I’m not the same person I was five or six years ago - but neither is Olivia,” Kerry explained. "So, it’s fun to keep calibrating the difference between who she is and who I am."

The actress, who is married to American football player Nnamdi Asomugha, has also gone through two pregnancies on the show - with daughter Isabelle, who was born in 2014, and son Caleb, who made his arrival into the world last October.

Writers have done their best to work around Kerry's changing figure, but her second pregnancy meant she had to cut the 22-episode sixth season short. However, she is thrilled that fans didn't criticize her for her decision because they are so supportive of her and the show as a whole.

"I learned in my first pregnancy that our fans’ devotion allows them to look past bigger and bigger coats and purses to stay committed to the story. I was less terrified the second time around that this person with a slightly fuller face could still be Olivia Pope," she smiled.

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