All Articles Tagged "Viola Davis"
Stop whatever you’re currently doing at work (if you’re still at work like some of us), and look into some acting classes. Memorizing lines and pretending to be a character for a living is definitely where the money is. According to a survey done by Variety on the earning power of stars in primetime, daytime, late-night and news television, it’s clear that we’re all toiling away in the wrong industry. When folks (make that three people actually) are making $1,000,000 an episode to star on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, which is just a 30-minute show, one can’t help but wonder how they can get in where they fit in…
Seriously, though. Some of your favorite stars from your favorite shows are getting paid the salaries of a few individuals put together just to film one episode of your favorite show. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
Laugh on, Viola! The How to Get Away with Murder star reportedly makes about $250,000 per episode for the hit ABC drama.
Viola Davis took to “The Ellen Degeneres Show” to chat all about her daughter, and the growth of her character Annalise on “How To Get Away With Murder.” The 51-year-old actress beamed in a radiant fuchsia jumper, as she gushed about her daughter Genesis’ and her passion for Queen Bey. Davis’ six-year-old is a proud member of the Beyhive and was devastated when her parents told her she could not go to the Beyonce concert.
Viola told Degeneres: “She wanted to go to a Beyonce concert, and we said, no,” to which Genesis replied, “No, you don’t know what Lemonade means to me, Mom! You don’t know what Beyonce means to my life.”
The actress and mom also shared that her daughter also wants to be an actress. In an effort to convince her mother she had what it takes to be an actress, animated little Genesis had this to say, “Mommy, I know how to live the words. I know how to breathe the words. I know how to remember the words.”
As for her turn as the conflicted and ruthless turn Annalise, Viola says there will be a few changes on set that are non-negotiable. Due to sustained injuries, Davis declared she was done with sex scenes, to which Ellen replied, “Sounds like you aren’t doing it right.”
Check out the clip below, and get the full scoop on Genesis, and why Viola was limping for two weeks now.
The thought of two of the greatest actors of our time collaborating together in a new film sounds like a dream come true. And that’s exactly what’s happening as Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are bringing their Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Fences to the big screen.
For those, like myself, who don’t know the premise of the story, Fences is about a 53-year-old man Black man, Troy, who struggles to provide for his wife and son in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was once a very talented baseball player but because Major League Baseball had yet to be integrated, he was never able to make a living off of it. His life path was altered even further when he went to prison for an accidental murder during a robbery. So life has been no crystal stair. The film deals with topics of how Troy’s personal struggles directly affect his wife and son.
This reproduction of August Wilson’s classic is directed and produced by Denzel Washington. In addition to Washington, it also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney. Todd Black and Scott Rudin also serve as producers.
You can watch the trailer for the upcoming film, in the video below.
Fences hits theaters on Christmas Day.
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
The 68th annual primetime Emmy Awards took place last night in Los Angeles. Wasting no time, host Jimmy Kimmel made a joke early on during the broadcast about diversity, saying to POC in attendance, “If you are a person of color, find a white person and reach out and say thanks for your bravery.” Kimmel also made a point to compare the Emmys to that other highly coveted award, the Oscar, or Academy Award, which as we know, has a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusion. But that’s Hollywood in general. But I digress, because this slideshow is all about, what? Fashion! And the style choices of women of color were very diverse last night. Some of our favorite actresses – nominated and non-nominated alike – rocked the hottest looks at the Emmys, and we present them to you in all their slaying glory.
In just a few hours, some of Hollywood’s best and brightest will come together to celebrate the 68th Annual Primetime Emmys. Saluting the most impressive and innovative television shows of the year, the Emmys is must-watch viewing for any pop culture fan. And with the diverse array of talent that is nominated, we’re excited to see the outcome of who will walk away with awards for their talented contributions.
So without further adieu, MadameNoire gives you a handy guide to the accomplished black actors and actresses that will be vying for a trophy Sunday night.
Category: Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy
Why We Love Him: Anthony Anderson has had quite the career, but we think black-ish marked something truly special among all of his film and television credits. Serving as both lead actor and executive producer, Anderson has created a show that gives a honest look at the struggles and triumphs of black families today through a distinctive, unique and authentic lens. And it’s utterly hilarious.
How to Get Away With Murder, the groundbreaking drama that propelled Viola Davis to Emmy-winning superstardom, is gearing up for a third season of secret-filled, seductive, sexy, unpredictable, juicy goodness. (Davis is nominated again, by the way, for an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series). After the cliff-hanging Season 2 finale, HTGAWM fans can’t wait for Season 3, which will premiere September 22 on ABC. Whether you will be tuning in live or DVRing that episode and those to follow, we’re sure you will be happy to have a little something to hold you over in the meantime. From details of how the show’s actors developed their characters, lessons HTGAWM creator and showrunner Pete Nowalk learned along the way, to the reaction Viola Davis had after meeting the legendary and incomparable actress Cicely Tyson for the first time, check out some of the secrets behind the making of the hit Shondaland series How to Get Away With Murder.
While visiting the Late Show With Stephen Colbert earlier this week, Viola Davis talked about a series in the works that she’s producing called American Coco. It’s allegedly about an agency that solves “sticky racial situations.” What exactly is a sticky racial situation? Well, Davis broke down the difference between serious racial discrimination and just awkward moments that take place due to a lack of understanding between people. Her example was of a movie she did recently where she wore her afro out during filming. The stylist assigned to take care of her didn’t know what to do with it.
Like, not at all.
“I was doing a movie and I was doing it with my ‘fro, and this Caucasian woman had her fingers in my hair. She said, ‘I’m going to make it really pretty!’ So she put some White goo in it and I wanted to say something.”
When asked to clarify what she meant when speaking on the “white goo,” Davis clarified, “Goo only White people would use.”
She continued: “She put that and then she took a big spray bottle filled with water and just started spraying my fro with it. With the goo in the hair. I wanted to say, ‘This is not going to work.’ But I knew if I said it that I would be insulting her. So then I went to the set and slowly the sun caught my hair and my whole fro turned white.”
When Colbert affirmed that her incident was literally a sticky racial situation, Davis agreed. The star said that had she told the stylist the truth, they would have needed to have an uncomfortable conversation about Black hair and what doesn’t work for it.
“Because then you gotta talk about hair and then you gotta say, ‘You don’t know what to do with my hair!’ But you can’t say that because then you’d be insulting.” While she didn’t politely school the stylist, she did offer Colbert this lesson in how ‘fros work.
“By the way, if you put water on a ‘fro, if it’s this big, it’s will become this big. It shrinks!” To which he replied, “The fro shrinks? Is the water cold? Does that make it shrink even more?”
Ha! Well, he tried. We need more lighthearted conversations about these matters — no matter how awkward or silly they turn out. #themoreyouknow
Check out their conversation below, taking place around the 6:49 mark.
When the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences named Viola Davis the winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, they unleashed a dragon — and we’re so happy we did. Ever since the How To Get Away With Murder star spoke about the lack of opportunities for Black women in entertainment openly during the Primetime Emmy Awards, she hasn’t missed an opportunity to expose the different ways in which Black women are not only chosen for roles, but treated once they have them, particularly when it comes to our beauty. And the fact that Davis talking about this issue is groundbreaking news, speaks to what she calls the “strong Black woman disease” and the fact that “We are not given permission to address the things that hurt us,” as she told The Cut in a recent interview on wellness.
Thankfully, Davis is one willing to go against the grain, telling the mag when it comes to her on- and off-camera persona,” You cannot be allowed into my life if the only thing that I am asked to do is play a filtered-down version of a human being.” Check out what I call her recipe for wellness in these snippets from her interview below:
Her biggest wellness struggle
Anxiety. I struggle with relaxing and being completely in the moment. I have a huge problem with that one.
How she copes with her anxiety
At one point my hair fell out. I mean, like this whole side of my hair fell out and then I had a big patch on top of my head. It fell out because of stress and alopecia areata. Try and relieve yourself of that [stress]. You sleep better. There are times when I can’t sleep, and during those times, it decreases the quality of my life. I usually can’t sleep because of anxiety. Just being anxious for tomorrow, anxious about my schedule, anxious about my daughter, and just anxious in general.
On Hollywood struggling with her beauty
It’s very difficult. People just don’t understand our hair because they’re not with us on a day-to-day basis, it’s almost as if they need to be educated. I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve done where I’ve reluctantly said, “Okay, that’s not going to work on my hair, I’m telling you that we’re going to have to do this over again.” They’ll be offended because you’re trying to say that you’re different from us. I am different, but I’m not saying that in a way that’s offensive, I actually am very different from you with my hair.
Lighting is a big issue, too. It changes depending on how dark or light you are. That can be frustrating just on a physical and on a mental level because you’re constantly having to explain yourself. Also it’s a huge issue because sometimes it’s not even about that. There’s sometimes very little exploration into the specificity of the character. You’ll see a Caucasian woman walking into a scene with mussed-up hair, after coming out of the shower with no makeup and it’s not a big deal. But there’s a feeling like we’re not even allowed to do that. There are just so many restrictions.
On cultivating mental health and strength
One of the things that happens with narratives with Black people is that the image and the message becomes more important than the truth and the artistry. That carries on in our lives. We are not given permission to address the things that hurt us. We cover it up with great weaves and talking about all of our accomplishments and if we had something that happened in the past, we overcame it.
It’s that strong Black woman disease and I would like to redefine strength as saying that there are times when we are afraid, there are times when we feel vulnerable, there are times that you can hurt us, and that in and of itself is very powerful. In the future one of the things I encourage Pete Norwalk to do with Annalise in How to Get Away With Murder is to show that as strong as she can be and how vulnerable she can be, I really love when you see her pain. I see that in my mother, in myself, my sisters, and nobody ever talks about it. There’s a shroud of silence, and I wonder where they think all of that pains goes.
On redefining beauty
Just like we have to redefine strength, we have to redefine beauty. It’s not even about beautiful, it’s about being who you are. It’s about being honest. It’s about stepping into This is how I am in private, this is how I look, this is how I act, this is my mess, this is my strength, this is my beauty, this is my intelligence, and then putting it out there that this is who I am. You cannot be allowed into my life if the only thing that I am asked to do is play a filtered-down version of a human being. A filtered-down version is someone who has spent two hours in a damn makeup chair to play someone who’s getting out of bed in the morning.
You can’t keep complaining about not seeing varied roles for Black women if you are not the change you want to see. I’m sorry, it’s like if I’m in the bathtub, then I’m going to be in it with no lashes and with my wig off. If you’re watching, you have to come into my world. But I’m not going to make it comfortable for you to come into my world. That’s my job as an artist. I feel it’s very liberating for Black women. Domestic violence is one of the No. 1 killers of Black women. We suffer from huge anxiety issues. I think it’s because we have to be so strong all the time. We carry it all on our backs. All women do. I think we need to be allowed to say that sometimes we get tired.
Check out the rest of her interview on The Cut. What was your takeaway?
Last week we shed light on producers and movie and TV directors shaping our cultural landscape with their groundbreaking work, now we’re focusing on those in front of the camera. From Angela Bassett and Viola Davis to Don Cornelius and Nick Cannon, these entertainers have redefined what the mainstream sees as beautiful and helped ensure African Americans always have a platform to be their authentically soulful and talented selves.
If anyone is fluent in the adversity faced by minority thespians in Hollywood, it is surely veteran actress Viola Davis.
After this year’s Oscar nominees — which lacked diversity, majority people of color — were announced, many weren’t so thrilled and so the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was birthed. In addition to social media backlash, many minorities in the industry spoke out to share their thoughts on the topic, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee.
However, while they spoke directly about the Academy, Viola Davis shared a similar yet different viewpoint, Entertainment Weekly reported. On Wednesday (Jan.20) night at Elle’s Women in Television dinner, Davis said, “The problem is not with the Oscars. The problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system.”
She then quoted on a number of questions that the Academy members — who are majority older, white men — should be asking themselves during nomination time:
“How many Black films are being produced every year?”
“How are they being distributed?
“The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?”
“Can you cast a Black woman in that role?”
“Can you cast a Black man in that role?”
Personally, I believe that Davis truly hit the nail on the head of what many were trying to articulate in regards to diversity in entertainment, specifically Hollywood. While many are boycotting the Oscars as the premier and affluent affair void of diversity, this issue actually stems from the movie-making system of Hollywood. Plus, this is the second year in a row that minorities have not been nominated in acting or directing roles. Not to mention, many times there are only a handful of black and brown faces in the audience, let alone accepting awards unfortunately.
I think Davis’s mentioning of Hollywood will remind individuals why it’s so important that we have more minorities occupying behind-the-scenes positions and not just in front of the camera. While it seems like those in front of the camera and relishing in the limelight have the power, they honestly don’t. So in short, we have to champion those that are breaking barriers in the industry like Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler and understand their importance, and continue pushing our stories, starring our own people.
And Davis concluded her speech, discussing the longtime hot topic of the gender pay gap, and how it disproportionately affects women of color. “You could probably line up all the A-list Black actresses out there, [and] they probably don’t make what one A-list White woman makes in one film,” she said. “That’s the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no Black films being produced, what is there to vote for?”
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Viola?