Kerry Washington knows the feeling of Hollywood rejection because of a stereotype.
The "Scandal" actress spoke to Aziz Ansari for a "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors" segment that is set to air later this month. In that conversation, she said she was cut from two different television series because she wasn't "urban" enough.
She didn't reveal which shows she was referring to.
"Before 'Scandal,' I was actually cast in two other pilots," she told the actor. "Both went to series. But I was fired and recast."
The reason she was given for being cut loose? She didn't exactly fit to a tee what the series was hoping for.
"For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more 'girlfriend,' more like 'hood,' more 'urban,'" she said.
Clearly she landed on her feet and became a bona fide star on "Scandal."
From her experience as one of Hollywood's elite stars, she's found out that she's not the only one who has dealt with stale thinking.
"I've had friends of mine say like they're tired of 'gayface' and I was like, 'What's gayface?' They were like, 'It's the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate,'" she said.
Her experience also reverberated with Aziz, who said he's seen typecasting happen all too much in the entertainment business.
"A lot of other minority actors have told me, 'Oh, this so rings a bell' when you go into an audition room and you see a bunch of people that look like you and you just start feeling like, 'Oh I'm not here [for me]," he said, relating somewhat to Kerry's experience. "I'm here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here."
He referenced a "Masters of None" episode, where he is an executive producer, that spoke of typecast auditioning. He said he encourages actors on his show to simply be themselves rather than trying to become a character that fits the image people have in their minds.
"I feel like a lot of times people don't do that and then you end up with other people's perception of what certain people are like," he told Kerry.
Her response: "I definitely feel like I'm at that point where it's nice to not have to sit at home and wait to be invited to the party, but to be creating work for yourself."