Viola Davis is unstoppable. Not only is she nominated, again, for an Academy Award, but the classically trained actress is finally getting her props within the industry.
Despite being an accomplished and talented actor, Davis has talked candidly about the difficulties black actresses face in the business. Unlike her white contemporaries who enjoy various roles from which they can virtually take their pick, Davis says she doesn’t have Hollywood beating down her door offering high-quality leading roles.
She explains, “There’s no ‘Sophie’s Choice’ script floating around there for me. If you look at what has been out there for the past few years, or even the last year, for women of color…this is basically it.” She continues, “I do not sit with 10 or 15 scripts in front of me, all leading roles…that just has not been my options.”
While it would be easy for Davis to blame the lack of roles for black women on racism and prejudice, she says that’s too simplistic of an answer. Interestingly enough, Viola Davis says she receives a large amount of roles from young, black writers, but there’s only one problem: they want her to play a crack addicted urban mother.
In spite of the lack of well-written parts for black actresses, Davis is hopeful the success of The Help will show Hollywood that black actresses deserve a chance to shine. While I hope she is right, I won’t hold my breath.
What do you think?
*Via Shadow & Act