Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Kerry and Reese wouldn’t be friends outside of showbiz

Published:Thursday | February 20, 2020 | 12:22 AM
Kerry Washington (left) and Reese Witherspoon at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association press conference for ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, in Los Angeles last October.
Kerry Washington (left) and Reese Witherspoon at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association press conference for ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, in Los Angeles last October.

Kerry Washington admits that she wouldn’t be friends with Reese Witherspoon “in the real world”.

The pair both star and co-produce in the upcoming Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere and are close offset but Kerry readily admits that their very different backgrounds would have prevented them from becoming friends had they not entered the entertainment industry.

In an interview with Variety, she said: “In the real world, Reese and I are not supposed to be friends. I grew up in the Bronx a block away from the projects, and she grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.”

The ‘90s-set series, which the duo also serve as executive producers on, follows Mia Warren (Kerry) and Elena Richardson (Reese), two mothers whose contrasting lives and views clash to catastrophic effect in Shaker Heights, a pristine and seemingly progressive Ohio suburb.

The 43-year-old actress’ casting is significant as she became the first black woman in 40 years to head a network drama in the US. She acknowledges that she has heard the fact “a gajillion times” and is keen to make an impression with her performance.

Kerry explained: “I didn’t feel pressure from my ego, like ‘I have to make the show work’. It was more ‘If we (expletive) this up, it’s going to be another 40 years before they let a black woman be the lead of a network drama. We have to get this right.’”

Kerry plays Mia in Little Fires Everywhere, a fiercely talented but guarded artist and Reese, 43, admits that she was excited to see Kerry playing a very different role to her portrayal of political fixer Olivia Pope in ‘Scandal’.

The Legally Blonde star said: “I really liked the idea of Kerry playing Mia after Olivia Pope. Knowing Kerry and her range, I was excited to see her play someone 180 degrees different.”