Kerry Washington Recalls Her Days As a Substitute Teacher After Starring in 'Save The Last Dance'

Kerry Washington talks her substitute teaching gig

She continued substitute teaching after the 2001 hit was released.

Kerry Washington hasn’t always played a Washington, D.C. fixer! The 40-year-old actress visited The Late Show on Wednesday and opened up to host Stephen Colbert about the jobs she held before making it big.

“I worked in a restaurant and I taught yoga and I also was a substitute teacher for New York City public schools,” she revealed. “It was a perfect job for an actor because you get a call in the morning saying, ‘We need a teacher,’ and if I had an audition, I wouldn’t go, but if I didn’t have an audition -- which was most days -- I would go and work in a school.”

But the job wasn’t quite as ideal as she started getting successful.

“I got a job in a movie called Save the Last Dance, and it was my first big film,” she said. “It did not pay me a lot of money, so after the movie came out, I went back to substitute teaching for a while.” 

Now that she’d had a more recognizable role, Washington ran into some problems with her part-time gig.

“And then I had to make a rule that I wouldn’t work in high schools. I could only do elementary schools because kids were cutting class to see Chenille teach French,” she said of her character. “So it was bad. I would go into a school and I would see all these kids outside the window trying to see that girl from Save the Last Dance.

Washington is now a household name and celebrating the final season of her hit show Scandal. Watch the clip below to see celebrity Scandal fans!