Kerry Washington's character may be drawn to the light in The School for Good and Evil, but the actress herself is taking a little inspiration from her villainous side.
In an exclusive interview with E! News, the Scandal star, who plays the light-hearted Professor Dovey, explained why she was drawn to the Netflix film in the first place—and it's not because her character is all sunshine and roses. Instead, Washington said she was interested due to co-star Charlize Theron, who plays Dovey's "evil" counterpart, Lady Lesso.
"Part of my desire to do this film was to work with Charlize," Washington said, "And to be able to be on stage together and really give each other freedom to play. The more saccharine, sweet I would get, the more annoyed she would be. The meaner she was, the sweeter I would be. We just really played off of each other. It was so inspiring."
Based on the popular Soman Chainani book series, Washington and Theron star as the heads of opposing Good and Evil schools. And, much like their characters, the actresses told E! News that they sometimes disagreed—mostly on the merits of Washington's character wearing a corset.
"I love a corset," Washington said. "If the character requires it, there's something so great about what happens with my posture and my movement when I'm strapped in like that."
Theron, on the other hand, was grateful for her character's signature suits, calling a corset "torture."
"I'm sitting here thinking, 'I can't imagine anything worse!'" she said.
And although their characters couldn't be more different, the actresses say they ultimately came out closer than ever.
When the two were asked if she stole anything from set, they both demurred. But Washington quickly quipped, "I stole a friend!"
The School for Good and Evil premieres Oct. 19 on Netflix.