Kerry Washington in Women's Health

Kerry Washington took a break from her hit ABC drama “Scandal,” to pose for the cover of Women’s Health.

Washington spoke to the magazine about her pre-acting ambitions. “If I wasn’t an actress, I would probably be a teacher. Either an elementary school teacher or a yoga teacher. Both of which I did when I was living in New York pursuing a career in acting. I liked doing both of those things very much. I think it would surprise people to know that what I really wanted to do as a child was to be the woman in the Shamu show at Sea World. And the big joke in my family is that I started taking Marine Biology and I was like, forget the whale, I’ll just be on stage by myself.”

The actress also spoke about her upcoming film, “Django Unchained.” She said, “One of the things that I really love most about my job is the research part of it. So, I studied a lot. It’s kind of hard to articulate the level of preparation that we all had to do for this film because so much of it was emotional and psychological preparation. It’s hard to talk about because we all had to go into a part of American history that is so dark and complicated and fraught with the past sins of this country.”

Read more in the December 2012 issue of Women’s Health, available now.