As formidable actresses go, few can rival the toweringly tall talent possessed by Viola Davis.
An Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy award winner, the actress continues to blaze a trail, stunning in performances across TV and cinema.
Now, she’s launched her own production company JuVee alongside husband Julius Tennon.
In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Davis not only opens up about the venture, she waxes honest about many a topic – including regretting starring in 2012 smash ‘The Help.’ This, despite the film earning her an Academy Award.
Pics and quotes below…
On Her Entire Existence Being Activism:
“I feel like my entire life has been a protest. My production company is my protest. Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest. It is a part of my voice, just like introducing myself to you and saying, ‘Hello, my name is Viola Davis.’”
On Playing Aibileen In ‘The Help’:
“I was that journeyman actor, trying to get in.
I cannot tell you the love I have for [the women behind the movie], and the love they have for me. But with any movie—are people ready for the truth?
Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be Black, but…it’s catering to the white audience. The white audience at the most can sit and get an academic lesson into how we are. Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were.”
There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help. But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth].
The Help, like so many other movies, was “created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism.”
On The Pressing Need For Racial Equality In Hollywood:
“There’s not enough opportunities out there to bring that unknown, faceless Black actress to the ranks of the known. To pop her!” She names other performers—Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart—all “fabulous white actresses,” who have had “a wonderful role for each stage of their lives, that brought them to the stage they are now. We can’t say that for many actors of color.
[Similarly with magazines] they’ve had a problem in the past with putting Black women on the covers. But that’s a lot of magazines, that’s a lot of beauty campaigns. There’s a real absence of dark-skinned Black women. When you couple that with what’s going on in our culture, and how they treat Black women, you have a double whammy. You are putting us in a complete cloak of invisibility.”
Check out our recent interview with Viola: