Viola Davis reveals she regrets starring in The Help


Viola Davis has regrets about starring in the 2011 film The Help.

The 53-year-old told The New York Times she really enjoyed working with her co-stars, which included Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer.

But the Oscar winner felt there was not enough there: ‘At the end of the day it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,’ she explained.

She added, ‘I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. 

‘I never heard that in the course of the movie.’

Davis received a nomination for the Academy Award for best actress for her role. She won a Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role.

Also in the interview she said she only looks for roles that are ‘worthy of my potential and talent.’ 

And she brought up her pal Meryl Streep, who she worked with on Doubt.

She said starring with Meryl was ‘absolutely terrifying, but not because of anything that she was projecting. She could not be any less intimidating,’ said Viola.

‘Everything was coming from me, 100 percent. It was a rehearsal. We rehearsed it first because it’s based on a play. 

‘So I showed up an hour early, and I just stared at the door waiting for her to come in. And I think I probably ran up to her when she first came through the door, which I’m sure she’s used to, but when I look at it in hindsight I’m very embarrassed.’

Davis was also asked which role was toughest for her to play. She said Fences.

‘Annalise Keating is tough because I have to go into a realm that is not me. She has a very colorful sexual life. I would not describe myself as being that person.

‘And Veronica [in Widows]was very difficult because she’s got a vulnerability that cost me something as Viola.

‘That has something to do with images onscreen. How many movies have you seen where you see a dark-skinned woman of 53 with her natural hair in bed with Liam Neeson? But I had to get past the fact of what the outside world has not seen, and focus on what the world was.

‘All of my characters cost me something. I feel like if they don’t cost me anything, then I’m not doing my job.’

Davis will next stars in the crime drama Widows, which is in theaters November 16.


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