Kerry Washington wants UnPrisoned to get people to “examine their own prejudices about who formerly incarcerated people are.”

Delroy Lindo and Kerry Washington in UnPrisoned (Hulu)

Delroy Lindo and Kerry Washington in uncaught. (Photo: Hulu)

Read the logline for uncaught– The life of a therapist and single mother (Kerry Washington) is turned upside down when her father (Delroy Lindo) gets out of prison and moves in with her and their teenage son – and it could scream drama. With the rare exception (see: Orange is the new black), most Hollywood projects dealing with the prison system (see: Mercy only, the unforgiven) or in this case the reentry, are told through a serious if not grim lens.

uncaughthowever, aims for laughs And Sincerity. In terms of sound, it is far more modern family as ounce. And as the opening panel informs viewers, everything is “inspired by really crazy shit,” events from creator Tracy McMillan’s real life.

“I think it’s important to tell this story through a dramedy lens because this story is about, or is inspired by, a very real family, and that family is full of fun characters,” Washington says in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment. “Her father has been in and out of prison her entire life, and he’s also charming, hilarious and wonderful. And so we wanted to make sure we were making a show that honors the essence of who they really are and what their life together has been like.

“But you don’t want to be insensitive. You don’t want to make fun of it. So I think we’re all committed to being as honest as we can because the truth of humanity is often really funny. It’s also often very provocative and poignant.”

The scandal Actress, 46, admits she was extremely nervous about meeting film vet Lindo but didn’t want anyone else to play her concerned but charismatic father.

“I’ve been a Delroy Lindo fan for ages,” she says, recalling the effect his portrayal of Harlem gangster West Indian Archie had on him Malcom X (1992) she wore in high school. “His performance changed my idea of ​​what I knew as an actor. And then, 30 years later, I thought about and watched this show Since 5 blood and I thought, ‘There’s only one actor who could play my father.’ You know, there’s one guy I thought had the dignity and the intelligence and the charm and the sex appeal and the strength and the vulnerability.

“We wanted people to be able to reconsider, or maybe examine, their own prejudices and stereotypes about who ex-prisoners are. Because Tracy often says about her own father, when people met him, they always said, “Well, he’s so smart, he’s so charming, he’s so polite, he’s so nice. I never thought he’d been in and out of prison his entire life.’ So we wanted to create a character that would make people examine their own prejudices.”

Washington plays a marriage and family therapist on the show, which is also a hit for the dating actress speaks openly about her own psychological problems. Action, Washington says, can help.

“It depends on how crazy the character I’m playing is,” she says, laughing. “I think acting invites me to be in touch with my own body and mind to do this work. It’s interesting that as actors we don’t sit at a piano to play the notes or pick up a flute. Our body and our mind are our instruments. So I must know these instruments well. I have to be in tune with my thoughts and with my physicality to be able to take on a character. And this exercise, which has to be in presence and awareness, I think helps me with my own mental health. But it’s no substitute for work.

“I still have to be willing to do the work in my own life. I often find that characters come into my life when it comes time for me to think very deeply about my own relationships that might be in some way adjacent or similar. So sometimes they offer me the opportunity to do homework, but usually I have to do that homework off set and talk to my own therapist and off set to process whatever comes my way.

uncaught Premieres Friday, March 10 on Hulu.

Watch the trailer: Kerry Washington wants UnPrisoned to get people to “examine their own prejudices about who formerly incarcerated people are.”

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