‘Scandal’ Star Kerry Washington Taking Over Rom-Coms Next
Kerry Washington is temporarily shedding her all-white Olivia Pope ensembles and heading to the big screen. The Scandal star has signed on for a lead role in a new romantic comedy, Is He The One.
According to Deadline, the comedy will feature Washington as a bride-to-be. Per the description, the premise is similar to that of Ryan Reynolds’s 2008 rom-com, Definitely, Maybe. The movie will start out with Washington’s character getting ready to walk down the aisle on her big day. The rest of the story will reportedly be primarily told through flashbacks that take the audience through the three major relationships she’s experienced in her life. But it’s not until the end of the film that moviegoers find out which of the three love interests she’s actually marrying. The movie, recently acquired by MGM, will be directed by The Best Man’s Malcolm D. Lee, with a script co-written by DJ Richardson and Girl Most Likely’s Michelle Morgan. Todd Garner (Into the Storm) is set to produce.
Since landing her Emmy-nominated role on Scandal, Washington has (understandably) taken on much less work in the way of films. She held a supporting role in 2012’s Oscar-nominated Django Unchained. She also appeared in last year’s little-seen Tyler Perry-produced family comedy, Peeples. The latter ended up bombing at the box office, only earning a little over $9 million against a $15 million budget.
Still, the new gig doesn’t come as much of a surprise. With her newfound popularity as the face of one of television’s most-watched shows, it was only a matter of time before Washington made her return to the big screen as a now, full-blown star.
The disastrous Peeples not withstanding, Is He The One will mark the actress’s first lead film role, as well as her first starring part in a romantic-comedy. Prior to Scandal, she had small roles in films like 2001’s Save The Last Dance, 2004’s Ray, 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and in the 2005 and 2007 installments of the Fantastic Four franchise. But now that the ABC hit political drama has put her on the map, her eventual transition from one of TV’s leading ladies to a bonafide movie star seemed like a given.
Though we only have limited information about the project so far, Is He The One seems like it could be just the right project to help her make that move. Coming off her second consecutive Emmy nomination for Scandal and the kick off to the show’s highly-anticipated fourth season, the timing couldn’t be better, as her star power is at an all-time high and only rising. Plus, the film will give viewers the opportunity to see Washington in a completely different light — playing a woman with an actual stable love life. It’s a lighthearted story that couldn’t be more different than that of Scandal (in which Pope is constantly facing off against political upheaval, corrupt government agencies and perhaps worst of all, Tony Goldwyn’s President Fitz).
Having Lee on board as a director may also be an asset. His most recent rom-com, last year’s Best Man sequel Best Man Holiday, was a surprise hit—something that’s largely credited to the cast’s chemistry. We can only hope that Lee will make this new venture an equally successful vehicle for Washington and that the actress will get a real chance to prove that she can carry big screen comedy as well as she already carries TV drama.