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Entertainers of the Year: Kerry Washington

Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington’s high-powered, high-energy superlawyer on Scandal, can’t afford to be tired, and this year neither could Washington. After an emotionally taxing shoot for the upcoming Django Unchained—in the role of Broomhilda, Jamie Foxx’s damsel in distress—the actress had only one weekend to make the transition back from playing a captured slave in the antebellum South to playing Pope, one of the most powerful women in contemporary America. (As well as the only black female lead on network television.)

“It was the hardest leap I’ve ever had to make,” says Washington. “Because I wasn’t going from myself to Olivia Pope, who is already vastly more intelligent than I am and vastly more powerful and sophisticated and cool. And I wasn’t going from myself to Broomhilda. It was going from Broomhilda to Olivia and my head was spinning for that first week on Scandal and a little bit longer.”

'Django Unchained': Kerry Washington discusses Tarantino's latest film -- VIDEO

From the first and second trailers for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, it may not look like much of a love story, but star Kerry Washington insists the geek auteur’s flick isn’t all blood splattering on cotton bolls (though that shot is spectacular). As Broomhilda, the wife of the title character (Jamie Foxx), Washington found herself “at the opposite end of history” from her day job as D.C. power broker Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal.

Washington took a break from filming Django in New Orleans to chat with EW about the buzz-y project. Below, she discusses reuniting with Ray co-star Foxx, working with Leonardo DiCaprio (who plays cruel plantation boss Calvin Candie), and how Broomhilda and Olivia stack up against one another. READ FULL STORY

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