‘Scandal’ Producers Hid Kerry Washington’s Pregnancy With a Bunch of Not-So-Clever Hacks

Kerry Washington is a multi-talented star who is known not just for her skills as an actress, but also for her work as a director and producer. She has been nominated for multiple awards and has shown that she has the ability to expertly work in any genre, from comedy to romance, and even horror.

Still, for all of her many ventures, Washington is best known for playing the character Olivia Pope in the TV series Scandal. The political drama series went off the air in 2018, but it remains intensely popular to this day, with many viewers dedicated to learning what they can about the show — and some of the interesting tricks that showrunners utilized to maintain the show’s mystique. 

Kerry Washington rose to fame on ‘Scandal’

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Born in New York City in 1977, Washington began performing for audiences at a very young age. She acted with her local youth theatre group when she was a teenager, establishing the skills that she would need for her eventual Hollywood career.

Washington went on to attend George Washington University, graduating in 1998, according to IMDb. In the mid-’90s, Washington landed her first roles, mainly on small television shows.

By the early 2000s, she had made the transition to movies, with small parts in films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Little Man. Washington’s first big break was in the 2004 film Ray, where she played Ray Charles’s wife.

Finally, in 2012, she scored the role that would make such a big difference in her life — the role of Olivia Pope in the Shonda Rhimes series Scandal

Showrunners on ‘Scandal’ had to do ridiculous things to hide Kerry Washington’s pregnancy

RELATED: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Fought To Have Olivia Pope’s Most Controversial Scene

Scandal became a commercial and critical success, and Washington received acclaim for her work in the series. The series ran for six years, and over the years, Washington invested a great deal of her time into the series, going through major changes in her personal life all the while.

Although Washington has worked hard to keep her personal life very private, she did become pregnant during the filming of season three of Scandal, which put showrunners in a very interesting position. 

According to TV Guide, a few of the things that directors did in order to hide Washington’s pregnancy included placing the actress behind large objects in the background, such as strategically placed lamps and oversized purses. They utilized strange camera angles to hide the lower half of Washington’s body, often putting her in a sitting position behind a coffee table or another piece of furniture — anything to hide her growing baby bump. 

What did Kerry Washington say about being pregnant while filming ‘Scandal’?

RELATED: ‘Scandal’: Why Do the Characters Talk So Fast?

For many viewers, Washington’s pregnancy wasn’t noticeable, even though the camera angles might have been bizarre. Still, for Washington, it was one of the most memorable times of her life.

“All of last season was a challenge for me, on a few levels,” Washington revealed to the Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “For one thing, I was going through this amazing physical transition, this physical journey of having a baby, that my character was not going through. And I work very physically. What I do is often grounded in the body.” 

Washington stated: “That meant I had to figure out how to be this woman while my instrument was changing and evolving every day. It was like seeing the keys on a piano jump around on a daily basis. It was tough for me to even maintain Olivia’s walk because of the changes.”

Ultimately, Washington was successful in not only hiding her pregnancy but creating an experience for viewers that was as intense as anything that had been committed to the screen before.