Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Viola Davis On Her New Oscar-Worthy Movie

Actress Viola Davis is on top of her game. This year, she stars in Steve Mcqueen's Widows opening this Friday. Davis will play Veronica, wife of thief Harry (Liam Neeson) who now has to survive without him. 

According to News24 this film has the sort of role that could result in Davis earning more accolades for her already-remarkable body of work. See what else Viola Davis had to say in an interview about the film:

On when she first met Steve Mcqueen:

I bumped into Steve, definitely, previously. I want to say it was during The Help... It was at the BAFTA tea party [in LA] and it was one of those meetings where he basically was saying, 'Why don't you get better roles?' If you know Steve, you know that he doesn't mince words. His forte is just to get on with it, but I believe that was the gist of the conversation at the BAFTA tea party.

On how Steve Mcqueen sees her:

I always try to wrap my mind around how people see me and how I see me, which can be absolutely antithetical to each other. Of course, I just see myself as Viola, who wears no make-up and a head wrap and lives in a robe at home. But I like that he sees me that way, I do, because I've always questioned how people see me in the past. I like that he sees me as someone who's that expansive. I like that he sees me as a woman, so yeah, I'll accept it! [laughs]

Davis on how she was offered the role:

He came to my house to offer me the role. I had not seen the script yet. He just sold it to me, you know, about it being a female heist movie. But he was very adamant about the other issues he really wanted to address within the story. Especially the issues of class beyond race. With me and Cynthia Erivo, you have two women of colour, you have two African-American women, but two different levels, two different classes. You could sometimes bump heads and that is its own, different narrative that you very rarely see in movies. I mean, he just presented all of it to me. He kind of spewed it out. I keep telling people, I wanted to tell him that you could have told me this over the phone and I would have said yes. You could have saved yourself the whole trip! But I saw it as an interesting adventure and a great project with great people in it. I think he has a great eye for talent. And I continue to tell people, I certainly get a lot of offers. Not all of them are great. I saw this as being a great offer so I definitely said yes.

On her character Veronica:

Veronica is a woman where, when you meet her, when you meet all of these women, what they are motivated by is grief and deception, the deception from their husbands. It's a sort of waking up to the fact that most of their lives have been a lie. Then, from there, I see her as a woman who is deciding two things. She's deciding to get ownership of her life back, in some way. And number two, she's a woman who's deciding to live. I don't think most women who are mothers could have the death of a child and the death of a husband in close proximity to each other and not be pretty much levelled. I think the next step is probably a big old dark hole. But I see her as a woman who is taking charge of this heist as a metaphor for taking her life back, of deciding to stay on her feet, of giving her self-purpose. That's how I see Veronica. And I see her wearing that mask of take-charge, I think that's the case with a lot of women. Sometimes we wear that mask as a way of kickstarting our lives and really trying to work through our level of shame, our lack of self-esteem. You have to say that Veronica, Linda, Alice, are women whose men died in the heist, but they were questionable men. So then the next question is, so what would make you attracted to these men? That's the bigger question for women attaching themselves to men for financial gain and status that you feel you can't get on your own, and then when they are killed, you're left with nothing. It's about getting ownership, it's about accountability, and it's about doing it in a way that's not necessarily nice because change is never nice. Gaining ownership of your life is not pretty, it's not a pretty journey.

read the full interview here.

Widows opens in SA cinemas on Friday, 16 November. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Life and Culture
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below