Viola Davis doesn’t have time for social media trolls.
The actress spoke to BBC News about some of the criticism she has faced for her portrayal of Michelle Obama in the Showtime series “The First Lady”.
Some viewers commented on Davis’s facial expressions and pursed lips while playing Obama.
Davis admitted it was “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work,” while acknowledging criticism is an “occupational hazard” of her job.
The “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star questioned, “How do you move on from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance.”
She continued, “Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty, either.
“They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow that you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth.’ So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you.
“But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail, it is my duty to do that.”
Davis admitted that playing someone as well known as Obama was “almost impossible,” saying in the interview: “Either you’re doing too much or not enough.”
She doesn’t know what Obama thought of her performance, telling the broadcasting company: “I don’t have any personal contact with Michelle Obama.”