Kerry Washington was always reluctant to be an actress because she didn't want to be famous.

The 36-year-old star - who has appeared in a string of successful movies including 'Django Unchained' and 'Ray' - never thought she'd have an acting career as her family are highly academic and she admits the thing that always put her off Hollywood was becoming a celebrity.

She said: ''I'm the daughter of a professor, so ... well, I think acting's not a real job. I come from this sort of academic, working middle-class family where you make something respectable of your life ... I always loved acting, but I think for a long time, in my brain, the desire to be an actor was equivalent to the desire to be famous. I did not want to be famous. I did not want to be that girl. I thought that if you wanted to be an actress, you had to want to be on the front cover of magazines, otherwise you shouldn't do it.''

The 'Scandal' actress has so managed to avoid many of the pitfalls that come with being in the movie industry.

She is confident her family and close friends will always keep grounded as a person, no matter what happens in her career.

Kerry told Weekend magazine: ''I'm lucky I come from a really grounded family and I have the three best friends from high school who have made it their job to remain unimpressed by everything I do. If I started being super-diva Kerry, they would be like, 'What is that?' ''