AceShowbiz - Kerry Washington's mother "begged" her to pursue a career in law because she feared her daughter becoming a "starving artist."
The former "Scandal" star was a theatre kid while growing up in the Bronx, New York but though her heart always lay with the performing arts, the 43 year old reveals her mother, Valorie, urged her to pursue a more practical profession.
"She really, really wanted me to go to law school," Washington tells People magazine. "Oh my God, it's what she begged me to do. She used to say to me, 'Closing arguments are just like monologues,' " recalls the star. "She was terrified to have a starving artist of a child."
Washington, who is currently promoting the legal documentary she co-produced, "The Fight", went on to study at George Washington University and earn a dual degree in anthropology and sociology and notes that while acting has been her main focus, she has always had a passion for advocacy.
"I started my life as a social justice activist," she adds. "I was 12 or 13, doing HIV/AIDS education and advocacy work in New York through an arts and education theater company. For my whole life, art and social change have been impossible to separate."
Her knowledge of social justice paid off when it came to working on "The Fight", which focuses on the lawyers behind the American Civil Liberties Union.
"They're Avengers in real life," she marvels, "out there fighting for all of our rights."
Meanwhile, Kerry's mum need not have worried about her future earnings. Washington earned four Primetime Emmy nominations on Tuesday (28Jul20), including two for her work on "Little Fires Everywhere", as a star and producer, for her turn in the Broadway production "American Son", which was filmed for the small screen, and the variety special "Live in Front of a Studio Audience".
"The Fight" is released on demand 31 July (20).