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Kerry Washington praises ‘honest’ and ‘imperfect’ UnPrisoned characters

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington has reflected on playing a therapist in UnPrisoned.

While speaking with UnPrisoned creator Tracy McMillan at Deadline’s Contenders TV panel on Sunday, the series star discussed how the show depicted “real life” by bringing a “lightness” to dealing with trauma.

“That’s what healing looks like a lot of the time. When I think about those moments that have been most traumatic in my life, when I get to the point where I can sit with loved ones and have real joyful, compassionate laughter about the things that used to cause me the most pain, that is a sign of my healing,” Kerry shared. “As an actor, I’m not drawn to playing perfect people because nobody’s perfect. It’s part of what defines us as human beings is that we’re flawed and we’re messy and we don’t get it right all the time.”

She continued that she was drawn to the role of a therapist who was on her own healing journey.

“What’s interesting about a character is kind of where they’re f**ked up,” the actress explained. “I think that it’s a disservice in our culture when we think our therapists are perfect, because they think that is some conscious expectation of ourselves to be perfect or to try to get to be perfect. I think getting to honest is more what it’s about, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do on the show is to play honest people, real people.”

Kerry added, “I love that everybody on the show is really, really imperfect, but also really trying to be the best version of themselves, or each other in these relationships.”

– Cover Media