Sarah Terry
Updated Aug 24, 2016 @ 3:34 pm
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Credit: Paramount / ABC

These days, Kerry Washington is owning network TV with her fierce portrayal of Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal. Olivia is driven, brilliant and endlessly fashionable, and we’ve come to think of Kerry and Olivia as one. Kerry is also a color designer for OPI Nail Polish, and as an outspoken advocate for tolerance and peace, Kerry appeared in a Human Rights Coalition video about the shooting in Orlando this summer. She even spoke out about overuse of Photoshop. Basically, Kerry is an all-around awesome lady, and we’re so excited for all her success.

Kerry Washington is our favorite powerful lady on TV as Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal.

Credit: ABC

Olivia Pope owns Washington D.C., and she always looks incredible doing it.

Kerry knows how to rock the red carpet in her own right.

Credit: Kris Connor / Getty

Kerry shows off her baby bump in this fun cocktail dress.

But before Kerry was the chic, driven Olivia, she played Chenille in Save the Last Dance.

Credit: Paramount /
Credit: Paramount

That’s right, Kerry played the closest friend of Julia Stiles’ character Sarah in the movie, Chenille. She was also a strong single mother and the sister to Sarah’s love interest, Derek, played by Sean Patrick Thomas. In Save the Last Dance, Sarah, a ballet dancer, has just lost her mom and moved to a rough neighborhood with her dad. Chenille is the first person to try to help Sarah on her first day.

Chenille gives Sarah a much-needed lesson in navigating their new school.

And important fashion advice.

Credit: Paramount /

We loved Chenille because she is brutally honest and pulls no punches, but she has a huge heart.

She also played one of the realest teen moms we saw in our fave movies from back then, and we thought she was awesome.

Credit: Paramount /

Chenille is taking care of her son and going to school, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for her family when she needs to. She had to be so much more responsible than most of her friends, and she managed to balance it all.

What do we think Chenille would have said to some of Olivia’s killer looks?

Pretty sure she’d say this: