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Viola Davis is done playing maids in movies

Movies News / Elizabeth Darrell

Published:

Viola Davis is done playing maids in movies

  • Viola Davis played a maid in 'The Help
  • She is currently promoting Beautiful Creatures
  • While talking to CNN, she explains that she won't play maids anymore
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Viola Davis plays a major supporting role in the upcoming ‘Beautiful Creatures’, and although she didn’t appear at the premiere yesterday, she has been busy with other promotional duties for the film.
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer played maids in 'The Help'
 
In an interview with CNN, she praises the two young leads of Beautiful Creatures, saying, “They weren't thinking about 'everything is resting on my shoulders, how are people going to receive the movie?' That is not your job as an actor. They were artists doing their job, in the moment, without vanity, with courage. And that's what I respected about them, I really did. There's no sense of stress in any of them. … It was wonderful to watch.”
 
She also talks about her own career, and adds that while she’s open to playing versatile roles in films, she’s done playing maids and reinforcing stereotypes that still exist about African Americans. She explains, “We played – me and Octavia [Spencer], Aunjanue Ellis, Roslyn Ruff – we all played maids in ‘The Help’ and it was fabulous, it's a fabulous story because we were personalized and all of those things, but I think that people need to see an African-American in the 21st century integrated in the life of this town and family who's not in servitude.”
Octavia Spencer in 'Beautiful Creatures'
Octavia Spencer in 'Beautiful Creatures'
 
Viola has previously opened up about her role in ‘The Help’, for which she was unfairly criticized for enforcing stereotypes. She has said that in her position, it’s not easy to find roles for women of her age, and that ‘The Help’ was a story that needed to be told, despite any negative aspects it has to it. Davis recently presented at the SAG Awards, and while it’s not confirmed whether she will be at the Oscars, she has a busy couple of years ahead of her, with roles in Ender’s Game, Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and Her, and Prisoners.  
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