Viola Davis is opening up about one of the most iconic roles of her acting career.
Much to our surprise, the Academy Award winning actress recently revealed to The New York Times that she regrets starring in the 2011 movie The Help!
The 1960s period drama starring Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain tells the story of an aspiring author (played by Stone) during the civil rights movement, who decides to write a book from the point of view of African-American maids working for white families.
Davis feels the film missed the mark on the premise she was sold on:
“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.”
Despite its slightly tone-deaf approach, the film went on to earn a number of nominations the following awards season, including best picture at the 84th Academy Awards. Davis received a Best Actress nomination nod for her performance, while costars Spencer and Chastain were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress (which Spencer won).
But the 53-year-old says what she truly took from the experience were the friendships formed on set:
“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.”
The How To Get Away With Murder actress also added that she “could not have asked for a better collaborator” than director and writer Tate Taylor.
Despite her regrets, Viola’s career took off and never looked back. Since filming The Help, Davis went on to become the first black actress to be nominated for three Academy Awards (finally winning for Fences), and is the only black person to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting — an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy, well-earned for her role as ruthless lawyer Annalise Keating on ABC‘s How To Get Away With Murder.
You can catch her in the new crime drama “Widows,” which debuted last week at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be in theaters Nov. 16.
[Image via WENN]