Kerry Washington on Bonding With ‘Confirmation’ Subject Anita Hill

TCA 2016: “I wish I had the level of elegance and grace she had in the beginning,” star and executive producer says of her onscreen counterpart

Kerry Washington found one glaring similarity between herself and the woman she plays on screen in HBO’s “Confirmation.”

“I have met [Anita Hill]. She is very private,” the star and executive producer said on stage Thursday during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “It’s one of the things she and I really shared, the idea that the circumstances of your life thrust into the public eye when it’s not necessarily your choice. That was something we really found common ground on.”

“Confirmation” details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims rights and modern-day race relations.

Wendell Pierce plays Thomas, and Greg Kinnear also stars as Senator Joe Biden.

Michael London, Janice Williams, Kerry Washington and Susannah Grant. Darren Demetre is the producer.

Washington felt extra responsibility to portray Hill the right way.

“I was terrified,” she said. “Portraying somebody who’s real is a different kind of responsibility, especially when they’re alive. That significance was not lost on me, both as an actor and as a producer, wanting these characters to feel real. To matter as much as these people do.”

The “Scandal” actress also admitted to admiring Hill’s calm under pressure during the trial, when all eyes were on her.

“I wish that I had the level of elegance and grace that Anita had in the beginning,” she said. “I just keep trying to learn how to live a public life and still have some private space. But there’s lots of role models for it and I’m just figuring it out as we go along.”

“Confirmation” debuts on HBO in April.

Scene at TCA 2016 Winter Press Tour (Updating Photos)

Partners

Featured