Kerry Washington's Tips for Being Her 'Best Self' Just Might Help You Rediscover Your Own Inner Magic
Kerry Washington is diving deep into comedy in her latest television project with Hulu, UnPrisoned — but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just another 30-minute sitcom. It falls squarely in the dramedy category where there are multiple layers to unpeel about a father-daughter relationship that deserves the social media label of “it’s complicated.”
The 46-year-old actress plays Paige, a therapist and single mom whose world gets turned upside down when her dad Edwin — deliciously played by Delroy Lindo — is released from prison. He moves into her home with her teen son and life suddenly becomes heartwarmingly frustrating, chaotic, and loving all at once. To embody Paige, Washington dove right into the pages of Tracy McMillan’s 2010 book, I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway: A Memoir, which chronicled her real-life story that UnPrisoned is based on.
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“I love the relationship between Edwin and Paige, because I think they’re fundamentally two people who are trying to do better and be better for themselves and for each other, and I feel like that’s a journey that a lot of us identify with,” she exclusively shares with SheKnows. “There’s a saying that I really love, ‘Our parents know how to push our buttons because they installed them.'” LOL — Washington couldn’t be more accurate with that statement.
The beauty of Paige is how wonderfully flawed she is: smart, kind, messy, and strong (she even talks to a younger, more confident version of herself to sort things out). Her friends and family see her magic, but she doesn’t always see it in herself — which is such a relatable moment that all women go through at some point in their lives. So, how does Washington rediscover her own mojo while through a difficult time? Well, she’s got the perfect combination of remedies to get herself back on track.
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“I think it’s one of the great arguments for therapy and inner-child work and any of these kind of healing modalities,” she emphasizes. “Like ways to look in and be introspective… prayer and meditation, whatever it is that helps you get in touch with your best self, those parts of you that can remind yourself how magical you are. Those things are important.” As we furiously scribble notes to take her advice, she thinks there’s definitely a lot to take away from playing Paige, who is a hip therapy influencer.
Washington loves that Paige regularly drops knowledge about everything from “attachment theory and inner child and forgiveness and acceptance” during her Instagram Live chats with her followers. While that might not be Washington’s real-life style, she does “respect and admire” that Paige is looking to be her best self by trying to “heal her relationships as a daughter, so that she can be the mom that she wants to be.” It’s something that she easily “identifies” with as mom to daughter Isabelle, 8, and son Caleb, 6, who she shares with her husband, Nnamdi Asomugha.
Buy: ‘I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway: A Memoir’ $17
Paige may have a long way to go in finding the “radical honesty” she’s looking for in her relationship with her dad and the men she dates, but Washington knows where the truth needs to come from first in her own life. “For me, the most important step in living a life of radical honesty or trying to, at least, is beginning to figure out how to be honest with myself,” she explains. “For me at least, I think that’s where we have to begin.”
Stream all episodes of UnPrisoned beginning March 10 on Hulu.
Before you go, click here to see the best TV shows you should be watching right now.
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