Kerry Washington is on the verge of one of her most anticipated roles as Anita Hill in HBO's upcoming Confirmation, where she will play the law professor who came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Just in time for the film's release, Washington graces the cover of Elle magazine in a boss-worthy pictorial and accompanying cover story that's chock-full of girl power.
In the issue, Washington discusses what attracted her to Hill's story and why she was passionate enough about the project to sign on not only as the star, but as the drama's executive producer. "This created awareness around that and around the need for women's voices to be heard in our public spaces, both testifying before Congress and sitting on the committee," she says. "It really was such a huge cultural shift."
Kerry also explains that she's not letting her fame get in the way of her activism. "I'm a person who's always been politically active and passionate about people's rights," she says. "I marched against the  Republican Convention. And as my career has expanded, it's been important for me to not stifle that voice. Because you want to be popular, you want people to hire you, and I have to make sure I don't do it less because I'm an actor."
Recently, Washington came out and voiced her support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election.
Washington also touched on the woman who helped bring her onto the A-list: writer, producer and Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes. "She's been such an amazing resource, as a mom, and as a working mom...I am on one show and I have one kid, and she has three shows and three kids." She also said that she sees Rhimes's self-help journey novel Year of Yes as "required reading."
Watch Washington pay tribute to Diahann Carroll during this year's Celebration of Hollywood below: