Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on our Watch With Me series on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.
Actress, producer and director Kerry Washington believes movies and TV have the power to influence us as individuals, and ultimately change the world. “When you step into a story and see yourself immersed in a part of the world that you’ve never been exposed to,” Kerry says, “that’s a magical experience.”
Kerry’s love for movies started when she was a young “latchkey kid” in the Bronx. Movies and TV helped connect her with others and feel a sense of belonging. “When you can connect to a story, you can connect more deeply to your humanity,” Kerry says. “ That’s why we watch, to be human and to connect to ourselves and each other.”
We sat down with Kerry to dig in more on her favorite movie and TV picks.
What do you think your watchlist says about you?
Kerry Washington: A lot of the films I love are about compassion, belonging and finding your way.
Are there specific moments where you used movies or TV to escape?
Washington: I am an only child and spent a lot of time alone. The people in shows? They were my friends.
What inspired you to create your YouTube series Street You Grew Up On?
Washington: I was so excited when we started our series, Street You Grew Up On. It was really fun because the whole point is that we are each the center of our own story. It’s really fun to talk to people we admire about the “once upon a time” in their life.
What new frontiers and environments interest you in movies and TV?
Washington: There’s all this attention on sci-fi and space travel, but [I think] there’s more real estate in the ocean that’s unexplored than in space. I think there’s magic to discover down below.
Your watchlist features many movies with mermaids. Do you believe in mermaids?
Washington: As a child, I really did think that maybe I was part mermaid. To this day, I keep trying to convince my kids that my DNA breakdown includes a percentage of mermaid.
Can movies or TV shows make any change in the world?
Washington: One of the things that I love about being a storyteller is that you really do see that hearts and minds are transformed by the best narratives.
Is it a crime to text during a movie?
Washington: I try to silence notifications so that when I’m watching, I can have as sacred an experience as possible.
Do you watch credits all the way through?
Washington: In my house, we watch the credits all the way through out of respect for the people I work with. The credits that matter the most are not just ones at the beginning of the show. It’s the folks at the end of the show that also make it happen.
Check out Kerry’s watchlist to see the incredible movies and shows that inspired this aspiring mermaid turned storyteller on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Share your favorites as well using #WatchWithMe.