It appears Viola Davis isn’t too fond of one of her Oscar-nominated roles.
While promoting her new film “Widow” during TIFF, the 53-year-old actress admitted to the New York Times that she regrets playing Mississippi maid Aibileen Clark in the 2011 award-winning adaptation of “The Help”.
“Have I ever done roles that I regretted?” Viola pondered. “I have, and ‘The Help’ is on that list.”
The “How To Get Away With Murder” star prefaced her criticism by highlighting the “great” experience on set but alluded to the film’s glaring ‘white saviour’ narrative.
“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” Viola explained. “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.”
Viola has been a vocal advocate of equality throughout her career, particularly for women of colour in Hollywood.
“Feeling like I am the great black female hope for women of colour has been a real professional challenge,” she revealed in the same interview. “Being that role model and picking up that baton when you’re struggling in your own life has been difficult. Looking at the deficit and seeing that once you’re on top, you can either take the role of leadership or you can toss it in the garbage and say, ‘I’m just out to save myself.’ I choose to be the leader.”