Kerry Washington has a need for speed.
PEOPLE can exclusively announce the cast of the upcoming Disney-Pixar animated film Cars 3 — and Washington is one of the newest members of Lightning McQueen’s speedy crew.
Along with Washington, Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Lea DeLaria (Orange Is the New Black) also lend their voices to the latest installment of the franchise.
Washington, 40, plays a red sports car named Natalie Certain — and PEOPLE has the first look at her character.
“She is a super-smarty-pants statistician. She reminds of a statistical analyst on cable news or SportsCenter,” she tells PEOPLE. “She knows everything there is to know about the ins and outs of statistics when it comes to racing.”
This marks Washington’s first turn as an animated character, and she says she is excited to show her two kids, Isabelle, 2, and Caleb, 5 months, the finished product.
“It’s fun, the idea of doing something that the kids can actually enjoy,” she said. “Scandal isn’t exactly a Disney Jr. show.”
So what was the best part of doing voice-over work? Not having to hide her then-pregnant belly.
“Over at Scandal, I had so much stress about how to adjust my growing belly. But for Cars, I could roll up as is and not worry about hiding it.”
But just because she plays a fast-talking — and even faster driving — car on screen, she’s the first to admit she’s not especially skilled on the real road.
“I was about 22 [when I learned to drive],” she says. “I forced myself to do it because I was moving to L.A. I drive a little bit like an 85-year-old. I sit really straight, hands at 10 and 2, and always use a signal. It’s pretty hilarious.”
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Cars 3 once again finds Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) on the racetrack — only this time, he’s struggling to keep up with a new generation of fast racers. With the help of his crew, he hatches a plan to help him get back in the game.
Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy and Cristela Alonzo also voice characters in the film.
Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16.