Kerry Washington is part Vanity Fair’s 2013 Hollywood Portfolio.

As part of the issue’s launch photographer Bruce Weber shot short films of some of the stars. Washington’s 3.5-minute focuses on her appreciation for the arts and discovering James Baldwin’s "middle road," race in the U.S., and the artists who inspire her. 

"His work [James Baldwin] is so important, I remember stumbling upon him at a time when I was sort of grappling with who was right–Malcom or Martin–y’know, who had it right?", Washington says in the film. "Is it about turning the other cheek is it about any means necessary and then James Baldwin came along in my brain and I thought: exactly, there is a middle road of anger for purpose and dignity." 

Washington stars in the ABC drama "Scandal" that premiered in April 2012. She’s the first African-American female lead in a network drama in almost 40 years. (The first was Diahann Carroll starring as a widowed single mother working as a nurse in the 1968 series "Julia." A second show, "Get Christie Love," starring Theresa Graves as an undercover cop, had its debut in 1974.)

According to Nielsen "Scandal" is the highest rated scripted drama among African-Americans, with 10.1 percent of black households, or an average of 1.8 million viewers, tuning in during the first half of the season.

Bruce Weber, the photographer who shot the short film, is responsible for Abercrombie and Fitch’s iconic black and white photography.You can watch his short film on