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September 2008
LAKEVIEW TERRACE | An Interview with Kerry Washington

An Interview with Kerry Washington
by Wilson Morales

September 15, 2008

One can never get a read on Kerry Washington as an actress because the roles she plays are always diversified. While some actresses get the same roles or even fight to get a role, Washington has been blessed with the ones she’s had thus far, from ‘Ray to ‘Dead Girl’ to ‘The Last King of Scotland’. With her latest film, she adds new meaning to ‘Stand by your man.’

In ‘Lakeview Terrace’, a young interracial couple Chris Mattson (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa Mattson (Kerry Washington) have just moved into their California dream home when they become the target of their next-door neighbor, who disapproves of their interracial relationship. A stern, single father, this tightly wound LAPD officer Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) has appointed himself the watchdog of the neighborhood. His nightly foot patrols and overly watchful eyes bring comfort to some, but he becomes increasingly harassing to the newlyweds. These persistent intrusions into their lives ultimately take a turn for the worse when the couple decides to fight back.

In speaking with blackfilm.com, Ms. Washington talks about her role and working with Samuel L. Jackson.

How would define your character?

Kerry Washington: I play Lisa and for me, the story is about what happens when you move next door to a police officer and you experience difficulties and where do you go when the person who is supposed to be helping you is the person who is inflicting pain on you? There’s mismanagement in authority in this film. Sam plays this cop who we think is the one behind this harassment and we have to stand up for ourselves.

I know that this film has gone through many producers and has taken some time to get off the ground. Why do you think it was difficult to get it in theaters initially?

KW: That’s just filmmaking. If a film gets made at a faster pace, it’s the exception and not the rule.

I think people may look at it differently if they the saw the trailer. They may look at it as a film about color and relationships.

KW: Yes. The film is about color and in this case, Sam’s character has color on his side and his color is blue, but there are also a number of issues in the film, including race. It’s clear in the film this couple saved up to buy this house; and the problem they encounter start to affect their marriage. It’s also about class cultural values and race is a big part of it as well.

Not to get too personal in your life, but at one point you were involved in an interracial relationship. Did you ever face racial criticism regarding your relationship?

KW: To be honest with you, I have found that whomever I’m with, people have found criticism about it. Whomever I’m with, I can never make everyone happy for whatever reason. When I was in college I had a boyfriend who was African and I was with him for four years and there were people who had issues even though we are the same race. I’ve had relationships with people of different racial backgrounds where they were little issues. One of the things you have to learn as an adult is that you have to make choices that work for you in your life and you can let people have their feelings but don’t let it dictate your journey.

How was working with Sam on this film?

KW: I love Sam. I just adore Sam and it was an honor working with him. I had a great time with him and learned so much on the set.

For as many films that Sam as appeared in and I don’t how many you have seen him in, but was there anything different that he brought to this film?

KW: I’m not sure. That’s a good question. I think when you watch him, and to me, when he comes to work, he works. He’s not on the set to be pampered or anything like that. He comes in to get the job done and you get that sense when you see him perform.

How about working with Patrick?

KW: I loved working with Patrick. He’s so talented and I was so excited when we got him for the film because he has such a respected career and it’s wonderful to work with someone who approaches the work in a similar way in terms of the methodology and work ethic. It really was a pleasure.

Are there any scenes that stood out for in this film?

KW: I love the scene where we are yelling while Sam is cutting down our tree. It’s such a good scene because it was chaos for everyone. It was really funny scene to shoot.

You also have a number of films coming up including a cameo in Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna. How was it working with Spike Lee again?

KW: It was great. I did like one day of work for that film. Spike had told me that there was a scene in the film for a female and if I would come in for it, and I said yes. I love Spike. I loved working with him on ‘She Hate Me’ and I would always say yes to him. It was also a fantastic and important project and I was honored to be part of it even in a minuet way.

What else do you have coming up?

KW: I just wrapped a film with Eddie Murphy called ‘A Thousand Words’, which I’m really excited about. It’s very a touching, poignant, thoughtful comedy that we did and it’s really special and important.

How do you love being one of the spokespeople for L’Oreal?

KW: I love it. It’s a role that’s surreal. I’ve never really thought of myself as a beautiful icon person, and it’s a bit strange, but really fun. It’s also quite an honor.

Will you be appearing on any episodes of different TV series?

KW: I don’t have plans for that right now. I tend to really do TV when friends call me and ask me to. When I did ‘Boston Legal’ it was because (series creator) David Kelley called my house and said ‘I want you to come on my show’, and I wasn’t going to say no. This year, I did an episode on ‘Pysche’ because Dule Hill is one of my best friends and he called me and said, ‘Please come on and play this part’. I really love my film career and love working on films and that’s where I am now.

Why should anyone see ‘Lakeview Terrace’?

KW: I love films that give an opportunity for dialogue and it’s a great jumping off point to just talk about relationships and social dynamics. I think it’s an exciting film to watch.


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