Saturday, July 30, 2011

Viola Davis on Being "The Help": A Black Actress' Dilemma

Academy Award nominated actress, Viola Davis, describes herself as a character actress. On screen she's given us dynamic, memorable performances as a hopeless, tearful mother in "Antwone Fisher"; the hopeful but scared mother in "Doubt"; a Bible and condom toting social worker in "Madea Goes To Jail"; a "take charge" mayor in "Law Abiding Citizen"; and now in the upcoming movie adaption of "The Help", she's a maid during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, daring to allow a white writer a glimpse of what's behind Paul Lawrence Dunbar's, "We Wear The Mask."

Seemingly, playing a maid now amidst her successes and awards on stage and screen, may seem like a step backward. But Davis explains why there's more to the "The Help's" role of Aibelene Clark than meets the undiscerning eye. In the videos below she not only shares her responsibility to the role as an actress, but also HER SOLUTION to the lack of roles for black actresses in general here in Hollywood.

BUT BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY here's an interesting tidbit! Viola Davis told a recent LA screening audience SHE had planned to produce "The Help." After reading the novel and falling in love with it she set out to option it from author, Kathryn Stockett. As life would have it though, first time director and Stockett's childhood friend, Tate Taylor beat Davis' to the punch!

Watch the videos and share your opinion by clicking "comments" below.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.