Kerry Washington appears to have won Halloween, with her uncanny parody of Lionel Richie receiving approval from the funk and soul legend’s own daughter, Nicole Richie. Washington told her Instagram followers, “Ready to embarrass my kids,” as she posed on a redesigned cover of Lionel’s self-titled 1982 debut album. The actor then performed a lip-synched rendition of the singer’s hit “You Are,” complete with a stick-on mustache. In the process, she completely nailed Lionel’s shoulder-shimmying mannerisms.
The impression was an instant hit with Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, and Leslie Odom, Jr. “I am dead,” Lionel’s older child, Nicole, wrote on her Instagram story after seeing the video. Washington is best known for her roles in Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere, but she has also appeared in the live-action Fantastic Four movies and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The actress prefers to keep her personal life private, and she rarely discusses her three children on social media—unless she’s trying to make them cringe with her throwback outfits, of course.
“I have moments when I take photos or videos of one of my three amazing kids and I want to post it online, but I just send it to my parents and shrink instead,” she told TODAY in 2019, adding that she has a private Instagram for best friends. “I’m like, ‘My kids are so cute, and I don’t want to post about them, so look how cute they are,’” she says.
Her brilliant impersonation of the singer stands out from a busy weekend of top-tier celebrity Halloween costumes, with honorable mentions going to Lizzo’s Marge Simpson moment, Kim Kardashian’s Marvel tribute, and Janelle Monae’s The Fifth Element cosplay.