KerryWashington-ELLE-frontKerry Washington has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most well-rounded actresses. She’s got smarts, skills and in a new photo spread for Elle magazine she shows she has a cool sexuality that can quickly turn white hot.

The 36-year-old actress most recently starred in Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western, “Django Unchained,” opposite Jamie Foxx. She played the wife of the ex-slave turned bounty hunter.

But she is probably best known as the lead actress in the hit ABC television drama “Scandal.” She plays sexy, cerebral Olivia Pope, a former crisis management expert to the President.

She also had key roles as Ray Charles’s wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the 2004 Jamie Foxx biopic “Ray,” and as the wife of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin opposite Forrest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland.”

Kerry Washington Heats Up Elle Magazine

Her turn in Elle’s June issue is her first on the cover of a high fashion magazine, where women of color are few and far apart.

She smolders in a cardigan and plaid shorts by Marc Jacobs, and flashes her Carine Gilson Lingerie Couture bra, according to the magazine.

For the spread, she posed for photographer Horst Diekgerdes in the Giambattista Valli, Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford. Incidentally, her Armani sequined jacket sells for $15,625.

She confesses she is drawn to fashion and the pomp of the red carpet.

“I found out I enjoy the process,” she says. “All these people show up at my house, they all have kits, someone has dresses. And it’s like, Let’s have fun.

“It’s not all about me. We’re able to create stories on the red carpet,” she says.

The June issue of Elle hits newsstands on May 21st. Check out her behind-the-scenes video below and her photos above.