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KOMO's Elisa Jaffe with Actress and Activist Alfre Woodard. Woodard brought her star power to Seattle as the keynote speaker for the YWCA Inspire Luncheon. Photo courtesy of YWCA.

Actress and Activist Alfre Woodard Brings Her Star Power to Seattle

Actress and activist Alfre Woodard brought her star power to Seattle as the keynote speaker for the YWCA Inspire Luncheon.

"The YWCA event was just spirited and wonderful," she said. "It was highly festive and communal."

The YWCA is committed to gathering community together in the fight for social justice. Woodard shares the same passion.

"As an activist, I listen to people," she said. "I'm just a person in the world and I was always raised to go where there's a need and help with the lifting."

Besides helping others, Woodard helps bring life to the characters she plays both onstage and screen.

She's been acting professionally for more than forty years. Some her most memorable films include 'Passion Fish,' 'Cross Creek," How to make an American Quilt,''Love and Basketball,' and '12 Years A Slave.'

But don't ask her to pick a favorite.

"I think more of the experience than I do of the film, because they're so different," said Woodard. "It's like choosing between gifted children. You don't choose between children even if one is ungifted, you just love them."

She has some exciting projects coming up - including voicing Sarabi ( Simba's mom) in the updated version of the Disney classic, "The Lion King".

"I love doing voiceover for documentaries and for animation, and this is live action animation so that's really exciting," said Woodard, "More people are sending me well wishes for being cast in the 'Lion King' than my entire career."

That's not the only thing keeping Woodard busy these days. She will be starring in the Netflix movie "Juanita" later this year.

"It's that thing we do to women that we think - after a certain age they cease to be sensual human beings with desires needs and all that," she said. "'Juanita' blows it out the water. Her and Blair Underwood and Adam Beech I got some sexy [men] in this with me so you know I am not going to be sitting around in a sewing circle."

These days this star is all about action in the Marvel show 'Luke Cage.' Woodard relishes playing multi-layered character Mariah Dillard.

"Oh my gosh it's so much fun. I love her. I love her," she laughs. "Mariah is an assertive, way competent woman and she's smart. She's got means, she's got money and she doesn't apologize for her presence."

Whether she's helping others or lighting up the silver screen, Woodard is not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

"The more days you live, the more focused your point of view is-- the more resonate your voice is."