Friday, September 11, 2020

Feminine Differential - What Heels Convey

'She Wrote Her Own Rules': Kerry Washington's 'Little Fires' Role Reminds Her Of Mom

September 3, 2020 1:17 PM ET
NPR - Heard on Fresh Air

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today, we have interviews with two Emmy nominees. The winners will be announced at the Primetime Emmy Awards September 20. Our first interview is with Kerry Washington. She's nominated for four Emmys...


The interview proceeded along typical line discussing family, career and the characters Kerry Washington portrays.  Washington also starred in the hit ABC series "Scandal" as a political fixer who has her own crisis management firm and is having an affair with the president of the United States. She always dressed the part of a DC political insider and her comments on what heels mean to the character are very revealing.      


GROSS: She had very good posture.

WASHINGTON: She actually - she did have very good posture, but she also has a little - I won't call it a slump because she's far too graceful and elegant to call it a slump. But she protects her heart when she sits, and so there's a slight curvature to her shoulders in the way that she protects her heart and doesn't let people have access to her innermost heartfelt feelings and identity. And in her...

‘Scandal’ Star’s Top Shoe Moments
GROSS: Wait. Wait. Stop a second. I love the way you've turned her body, her posture into a metaphor.

WASHINGTON: Well, it is. I mean, you really - you know, you know you can study Alexander Technique, or you know how people move in the world says a lot about who they are. I used to go to rehearsal for "Scandal" in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, but I could not do the scene unless I had the shoes - high-heel shoes on, four-inch heels because Olivia Pope had a walk. And she had a posture, and she had a stance.

And I couldn't rehearse a scene in flip-flops or sneakers. Even when I was nine months pregnant playing Olivia Pope, I was in four-inch heels, sometimes wedges. But I still had to have that heel because that extra height and that extra lean forward and that extra tightness in the belly and the core that a heel requires - that's part of the steeliness of who Olivia Pope is. So I always say I don't know who a character is until I know what shoes they're wearing, until I figure out the walk, until I figure out how they stand.


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