Why Viola Davis regrets starring in ‘The Help’

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Viola Davis poses in the press room during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Just about every actor has some regrets about a role they either rejected and it ended up being a blockbuster hit, or one they chose that didn’t develop with the depth they thought it would have.

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In hindsight, critically acclaimed actress Viola Davis, says she regrets tackling the maid role that helped launched her career in the movie The Help. She opened up to The New York Times about the difficulties with that character, and tackling her toughest role yet in the upcoming star-studded thriller, Widow. 

The Oscar-Award winning actress who played Annalise Keating in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder said although she’s passed on a lot of roles she’s been offered, The Help is on the top of her list as one she could have done without.

“Have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and “The Help” is on that list. But not in terms of the experience and the people involved because they were all great,” she explained.

“The friendships that I formed are ones that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings. And I could not ask for a better collaborator than Tate Taylor.

“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. 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.”

Although Davis she has regretted doing The Help, she had learned to let go and move on while chalking up the experience as a lesson learned.

“I pass on roles because of my experience of knowing once the movie’s out, I’m going to have to promote it. And I don’t want to promote anything that I don’t believe in,” she said.

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Playing Annalise Keating has proven difficult for Davis too. Mainly she said because Keating has a “very colorful sexual life. I would not describe myself as being that person.”

Just spill all the tea, honey!

And in her upcoming role as Veronica in Widows Davis said, “was very difficult because she’s got a vulnerability that cost me something as Viola. That has something to do with images onscreen. How many movies have you seen where you see a dark-skinned woman of 53 with her natural hair in bed with Liam Neeson? But I had to get past the fact of what the outside world has not seen, and focus on what the world was.”

She added: “All of my characters cost me something. I feel like if they don’t cost me anything, then I’m not doing my job.”

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