Viola Davis Feels Like She "Betrayed" Herself by Starring in The Help

Lawrence Kim
July 15, 2020

In addition to Davis, the film featured Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Anna Camp and more.

"There's a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn't ready to [tell the whole truth]", Davis added.

More human: "Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity, ' said Davis".

But in a new interview with Vanity Fair, and within the context of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, she took the time to further elaborate on how the film's storyline caters primarily to its white viewers.

Still, she was discouraged by the oversimplified way the film dealt with racism and the inner lives of the Black characters. Even so, she said the movie's hesitance to share a more inclusive and accurate story left her feeling disappointment in her involvement. Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant.

"There's no one who's not entertained by 'The Help, '" she told the magazine in a cover story. In an accompanying interview, Viola discusses systemic racism, protests, diversity in Hollywood, as well as the challenges of being a Black actress in the entertainment industry. They're not moved by who we were'. Seeing the cover, I was completely and utterly mesmerized by the "How To Get Away with Murder" star's radiant skin and luscious curls. "I have, and "The Help" is on that list", Davis said.

'I can not tell you the love I have for these women, and the love they have for me, ' she says. While we are killed in the streets and fight for our lives each and every day, we still define culture in a way that is unique, refreshing and non-replicable. "I did not find my worth on my own".

And Davis definitely radiates that confidence in her history-making cover, the first to be shot by a Black photographer, Dario Calmese, in Vanity Fair's history. Though the cover and feature photos have been met with widespread praise, particularly for the attention to flattering lighting, which so many dark-skinned Black people do not receive, Davis knows there is so much more to be done.

"To the best of our knowledge, it is the first Vanity Fair cover made by a Black photographer", Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair's editor-in-chief and a woman of color, wrote in her editor's letter. "But that's a lot of magazines, that's a lot of beauty campaigns". The photo displays the unjust and simply horrific reality of Black ancestry in America, but Calmese and Davis used that photo to tell a story of strength and resilience.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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