Alfre Woodard has received so many awards nominations for acting, she's almost in a class by herself.
She's been nominated for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, 18 Emmy Awards (winning four) and three Golden Globe Awards (winning one). She chalks it up to working with a host of great actors through the years.
"It's like I'm a sister-elder in the village of actors," Woodard told ABC News. "It just means that I have worked with so many people. They're my kinsman. And we all speak a certain language. We work a certain way. We make very quick intimate relationships. So being recognized just means the people that do what I do get me. We feed off each other. It's like a great relay team."
Woodard can currently be seen in the drama film "Clemency." She plays death-row prison warden Ernestine Williams. Woodard said she met with several female wardens about their positions after taking on the role.
"It's not just a job, it's a calling in a way," Woodard said on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." "And when you are caging and incarcerating human beings, you want a person there that knows the psychology of human beings and how to work with them."
She added, "The compassion is, you know how things could go, so until the state changes the law you want a person there in their eyes, the contract they make with a condemned person is, I will take you through this with as much dignity as possible."
Woodard said she also had conversations with two condemned men.
"What was tough was being a witness, was holding hands with those people and being a witness," Woodard, 67, told Travers. "It took me a month to stop spontaneously weeping. And I live a joyful life. And I realized I was actually crying other people's tears and feeling their confinement and their pain. Because the incarcerated can't cry. And the incarcerators can't cry. So everybody has this compressurized, contained, sort of civil way of behaving."
"Clemency" is in theaters everywhere.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Alfre Woodard in the video above.