Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Scandal  star Kerry Washington is heating things up a bit for the August cover of Vanity Fair.  The newly married actress (we’re still trying to figure out how she kept that secret) is seen in a pool with a cut out white bathing suit and her natural hair slicked back.

Washington dishes with Vanity Fair  contributing editor, David Kamp about the daily preparation it takes to become her character Olivia Pope as well as the inspiration the role has provided for countless woman across the world, particularly South Africa.

“It’s especially profound in a place like South Africa,” she continues. “It’s called The Fixer over there, and it just started its second season. The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television. I don’t think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn’t first in their mind.”

Washington also chats about how serious voting was to her parents and why her best acting training came from her early days as a teen safe-sex advocate.

Nicki Minaj for Marie Claire

Photography Credit:

Also gracing an August magazine cover is former Idol  judge, Nicki Minaj. She’s on the “Hot New Looks” issue of Marie Claire  serving up “naughty school girl” realness in a bejeweled plaid dress and razor cut blond bob.

The cover (pictured above) is another major feat for the hip-hop star as she is the first female rapper to ever appear on the coveted magazine. Apparently Minaj tweeted the photo along with another hot look to her 16.7 million followers.

Kudos once again to our darlin Nicki!