ENTERTAINMENT
01/31/2017 08:06 am ET Updated Jan 31, 2017

Kerry Washington Is So Much More Than Just Olivia Pope

"Scandal" is great, yes, but how could we forget "Save the Last Dance"? Well, we couldn't.

Since 2012, Kerry Washington has been killin’ it as Olivia Pope on “Scandal.” 

But before the actress was handling political messes on primetime, Washington was climbing the Hollywood ladder. Over the years, she’s appeared in everything from “ABC Afterschool Special” to “NYPD Blue” and “Ray.”

And, of course, there was her role as Chenille in “Save the Last Dance.” We’ll never forget when she turned Julia Stiles’ homely ensemble into a “slammin’” outfit. 

Today, in honor of Washington’s 40th birthday, we’re looking back at some of her best roles (minus Olivia Pope). Check out our picks below: 

  • "Save The Last Dance," 2001
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    Kerry Washington will forever be Chenille in our hearts. (Can we also take a minute to note the actress still looks exactly the same, 16 years later?)
  • "Ray," 2004
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    Jamie Foxx may have been the star of "Ray," but Washington was right there with him, delivering yet another stellar performance as Ray Charles' wife Della Bea Robinson.
  • "The Last King of Scotland," 2006
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    Like in "Ray," Washington was a supporting character here, but she still gave a strong performance. 

    "My job was to transform into an African woman," Washington once said of the role, noting that she enjoyed the "responsibility of absorbing the culture and embodying the country." 
  • "I Think I Love My Wife," 2007
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    Washington got a chance to play the "bad girl" in Chris Rock's "I Think I Love My Wife," which she said she was "grateful for." 
  • "Lakeview Terrace," 2008
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    We don't hold the negative reviews for this movie against Washington. 
  • "Django Unchained," 2012
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    Washington barely spoke in "Django Unchained," yet she still managed to command the screen in every scene she was in just with her facial expressions. 
  • "Confirmation," 2016
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    Washington took on the role of Anita Hill for HBO's TV movie "Confirmation. It ended up being another career-defining moment for the star, who earned an Emmy nomination for her work. 
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BEFORE YOU GO

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