All Articles Tagged "Viola Davis"

Terrence Howard, Viola Davis Film ‘Prisoners’ Has A Surprise Win At The Weekend Box Office

September 23rd, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Terrence Howard & Viola Davis at the LA premiere of "Prisoners." FayesVision/

Terrence Howard & Viola Davis at the LA premiere of “Prisoners.” FayesVision/

Prisoners, a crime thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, and Maria Bello as two sets of parents who are searching for their missing daughters, won the box office this weekend with $21.4 million, beating out last week’s top movie Insidious Chapter 2, which pulled in $14.5 million in its second week. Entertainment Weekly calls the box office win a “surprise” because it doesn’t fit the mold of the top movies of recent weeks; it’s a drama that doesn’t have the CGI, the scares, or the flash of many other box office winners.

For Hugh Jackman, it continues a streak that includes Les Miserables and the X-Men films. And Jake Gyllenhaal, who could use a box office win, is getting good buzz for his performance. But for Howard, it must be a particularly sweet reprieve from the media attention he’s been getting lately, focused on the personal problems he’s been having with his wife.

For more on Davis and her new role, click here.

Bloomberg notes that September is normally a very weak month for the box office. But it’s also the time when audiences are seeking more mature movies as well. It also helps that reviews for the movie have been largely positive.

The film is building on positive buzz from the recent Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.

Viola Davis Talks Beauty And Growing Up With White Kids Calling Her Ugly In Essence

September 5th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Essence Magazine

Source: Essence Magazine


The beautiful Viola Davis is on the cover of Essence Magazine’s October issue!

Essence‘s editor-in-chief Vanessa K. Bush  interviewed Davis, who will be appearing in a new film called Prisoners on September 20. During their intimate conversation, they spoke on all things hair, beauty and motherhood- a role which Davis has recently taken on and is mastering. At 48 years old, Viola Davis describes simultaneously how precarious and joyful parenthood  can be, saying parenting is:

“five hundred million joys and a hundred million heartbreaks every single day.”

During the interview Davis  reflects on her  relationship with her mother, who she says did not help nurture her self-esteem:

“My image of myself {as a youth] was in the mouths of young White kids calling me…ugly…and then going home to a mother who did not fully embrace her own beauty.”

By  identifying   the flaws of  her childhood relationship with her mother, Viola Davis holds herself accountable to a particular standard while raising her two-year old adopted daughter, Genesis. The most important lesson she wants to instill in Genesis’s life is to embrace her hair.

“There’s not one woman in America who does not care about her hair. But we give it way too much value. We deprive ourselves of things, we use it to destroy each other, we’ll look at a child and judge a mother and her sense of motherhood by the way the child’s hair looks. I am not going to traumatize my child about her hair. I want her to love her hair.”

In Essence’s  full interview, Viola Davis discusses how fans suggests what types of roles and movies she should audition for, what keeps her  humble while her success continues to grow and how she met her soulmate.

The October edition of Essence is out on newsstands now. Get your copy!


Chadwick Boseman Cast To Play James Brown In Biopic, Guess Who Else Is Up For Parts

August 27th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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James Brown Biopic

Source: WENN


The James Brown biopic is happening and Universal Pictures has found the man they want to play the “Godfather of Soul.” According to Deadline, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played Jackie Robinson in “42,” will be taking on the lead role in this film.

The biopic is to be directed by “The Help’s” Tate Taylor, so it should be no surprise that Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer’s names are being thrown into the mix for this movie as well. According to The Wrap, Taylor wants to reunite the Academy Award nominees along with Nelsan Ellis, who played Henry the Waiter in “The Help,” in supporting roles for the biopic.

Though details are slim on this long-overdue project, The Wrap did mention that in the biopic, “Boseman will portray Brown over a period of several decades, from his disadvantaged youth to his status as a bonafide music icon.” Much of the filming is to take place in Mississippi, but there’s no word yet on who else might show up in the flick as of now. The Wrap notes that so far no offers have been made yet to “The Help” trio and their representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

What do you think about Chadwick Boseman portraying James Brown?


Give Their Regards To Broadway: Celebs Who Started In Theater

July 25th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Celebs come from all walks of life. Some are born into stardom because of their celebrity parents, while others work hard to get their names known in the business. One of the ways a lot of actors get their big break is by singing and dancing on Broadway. If it weren’t for these famous faces giving their regards to Broadway way back when, we may have never seen them on the big screen.

Why BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’ Is A Win For Women Of Color

July 9th, 2013 - By La Truly
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The night of the premiere, I decided not to watch Being Mary Jane. I saw the hash tag all up and through my Twitter timeline with all sorts of comments as people followed the storyline. I didn’t want other opinions clouding my thoughts as I watched. So, I waited a day, found the show online, and watched in solitude.

The original movie-turned-show chronicles the life of Gabrielle Union’s character, Mary Jane Paul. She’s a largely successful television news anchor who is gorgeous, smart, and wealthy, but who is quite unlucky in love and unfortunately is the sole breadwinner for her entire family.

I watched with baited breath praying that the acting would not suck – it did not. Neither was the storyline dull or unrealistic. In fact, it was so realistic, I found myself laughing throughout, remembering similar instances in my own life. I enjoyed it from the opening post-it note to the ending booty call, because although it might not be a squeaky clean portrayal of a black woman – it’s an honest one.

I can fully appreciate Mary Jane for the same reasons I appreciate Kerry Washington’s portrayal of Olivia Pope in Scandal - the unmitigated honesty. The typewritten disclaimer at the beginning informed viewers that the show isn’t trying to account for the lives of every black woman everywhere…just one. The show doesn’t seek to lump all black women into one group of  romantically challenged workaholics, it just lets us follow one woman who is trying to navigate that space in her life. A life full of choices to be made. Sometimes she gets them right, and sometimes she gets them wrong. You know, like a human being?

I saw glimpses of myself or people I know throughout the storyline. Who hasn’t gone back to the man who is no good for them but feels so good to them? Who hasn’t fought for a cause they truly believe in on their job only to be shot down? Who hasn’t flooded themselves with messages of affirmation and encouragement? Who hasn’t tidied their whole house and gotten “effortlessly” sexified in a matter of minutes before inviting their boo inside? And yes, who hasn’t employed the quick “squat-and-wash” method of washing up before an impromptu hot date?

I screamed when Mary Jane was Facebook chatting with her ex. More than once I have started typing, then rethought it and deleted, started again, then deleted it again only to end up with coy one or two-word answers – trying to tailor my responses to get the responses I wanted from a guy – whether via Facebook chat or text message.

My point is – I wasn’t mad at the creators of the show for displaying a truth that many of us won’t admit to living. I was thankful, in a way, for being shown that I’m not the only one who wrestles with some of these issues.

While people have a right to dislike any work of art they choose, I noticed that most of the criticism of Mary Jane (which was luckily not a lot) stemmed from a belief that it showed black women in a poor light. It’s the same mentality that met Viola Davis when she decided to play Abilene in The Help. It’s the mentality that black actresses are not allowed to show the whole truth. Just the pieces that sparkle and smell clean. If the image isn’t 98.7 percent positive, we get uncomfortable.

My response? We have got to get over the fear of telling the truth about ourselves individually and collectively. One person’s truth doesn’t necessarily blanket a whole race. And if art reflects life then for goodness’ sake, allow it to. I’d like to take for granted that most people are smart enough to watch television without coming away with all-encompassing thoughts about an entire group of people from ONE television show. While I love watching Scandal, I believe that anyone who draws the conclusion from the show that all black women are looking to be mistresses to white men are incredibly unintelligent human beings with no real right to voice their opinions. Just saying.

Being Mary Jane seems to be a story of trajectory framed in a way that many women of color will be able to appreciate. And, hey, it debuted with four million viewers so I think that signifies a win with some longevity. There are layers in it and the character as there are in our everyday lives and I’m excited to see what is revealed throughout Mary Jane’s journey.

What Did You Think? Oprah’s Next Chapter Tackled Mean Girls And Mixed Feelings About Skin Tone

June 24th, 2013 - By La Truly
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black women in hollywood

Last night, Alfre Woodard, Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad and Viola Davis sat with Oprah Winfrey to discuss the ins and outs and ups and downs of navigating Hollywood as women of color on Oprah’s Next Chapter.

With such an array of talents and accolades  in one room it was most intriguing to watch the discussion of everything from how inconsistent work can be, to leaving within their means in such a volatile industry, to supporting fellow Black actresses.

Gabrielle Union, wo was essentially Oprah’s reason for this particular installment of Next Chapter, revealed quite a bit about her internal struggle with her mean girl demons and expounded upon the jaw-dropping-ly honest speech she gave during an ESSENCE luncheon earlier this year. When receiving the Fierce and Fabulous award, Union recounted how she had been only pretending to be fierce and fabulous for much of her life. She uncovered how she had at one point torn others down to feel better about herself.

“I had to really examine all of the choices I’ve made as an adult and what I like and don’t like,” she said. “And there was a lot I didn’t like. So from that point in like, my early thirties, I started really living my truth and my words matched my actions.”

An always timely message for women of color, and actually just women in general, as the “crabs in a barrel” mentality is one that seems to pervade in many parts of our lives, as if we all can’t succeed and shine together.

It was interesting to see the reactions of the older women because it was clear that they came up in a different era entirely, one where fierce support of each other reigned supreme. The differences were very evident as Viola Davis spoke of refusing to apologize for herself and of being “pathological about being supportive. To anybody.” She also spoke of how Black writers in Hollywood seem to only want to write characters that are not flawed, or show the ugly side of humanity because they are afraid of how they will appear to others.

Phylicia Rashad, in all her regal elegance, gave insight into the truth of The Cosby Show, remembering how many believed it was not a realistic portrayal of Black America at the time, when it absolutely was, in fact.

“I grew up in Houston, Texas in the third ward and it was very realistic. And it wasn’t just realistic in Houston, Texas – it was realistic in Charlotte, North Carolina, in Atlanta, in New York, in Richmond, in Hampton… It was realistic in a lot of places…I guess it just depends on (who you know) and what you know. People will always have something to complain about. [It goes back to] knowing your life and who and what you are. You can stand in that and it doesn’t really matter.”

The discussion covered a range of topics including light skin v. dark skin which segued perfectly into the “Dark Girls” documentary that followed. Twitter rang out, praising the OWN Network for sitting these beautifully talented women down to discuss their truths and change.

Check out videos from last night’s discussion. What did you think?

Alfre Woodard on the Fierce Competition Among Black Actresses

Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard has been working in Hollywood for more than three decades. For years, she says, the mention of another African-American actress’s name would spark negativity and, oftentimes, the b-word from her managers and agents. Watch as Alfre shares a revelation she had about the women she was competing against.

“We Haven’t Healed”: Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad, Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard And Gabrielle Union Talk To Oprah About Colorism Issues

June 21st, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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On the upcoming episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter this Sunday, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard sit down with lady O to talk about the issues they face as black actresses. But with the premiere of the documentary Dark Girls coming up after the episode, Oprah decided to ask the women what affect colorism within the black community has had on them and if they notice light skin/dark skin issues promoted by non-black folks in Hollywood. In a quick preview of the upcoming episode, the women say that it plays a big part in not only what they do in Hollywood but in every aspect of their lives:

Oprah: Is that still a major part of the way people think in this town?

Alfre Woodard: Yeah. In this town and in our communities.

Viola Davis: I still feel like that’s what we’re fighting. Healing from the past. I think that it affects everything we do. It affects our relationships, it affects our art.

Oprah: But that comes from us. Doesn’t it?

Viola Davis: But that’s what I’m saying, we haven’t healed from that. We just haven’t.

Phylicia Rashad: Well Lord, goodness how long is it going to take!?

Be sure to tune into Oprah’s Next Chapter this Sunday at 9 p.m. and stick around after the fact to watch Bill Duke’s much talked/hyped about documentary, Dark Girls. What do you think of what they had to say, especially Viola Davis, about the colorism issue?

Check out the preview on the next page!

Viola Davis On Competition In Black Hollywood: ‘If You Throw A Piece Of Cheese In A Room Full Of Rats They’re Going To Claw At Each Other’

June 20th, 2013 - By La Truly
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black women in hollywood

It feels as if we’ve been waiting a long time for this kind of discussion to happen on the OWN Network and now, it’s finally here. On Sunday night at 9 pm Oprah will be sitting with Alfre Woodard, Gabrielle Union, Philicia Rashad, and Viola Davis to discuss the internal and external struggles of being Black, female, and an actress.

This conversation proves to be very open and honest as one clip shows Union stating, “I was a mean girl from about 8 years old.” But Viola Davis takes the rawness one step further, discussing the lack of diverse roles for Black women as opposed to the laundry list of options available for Caucasian actresses. She argues the competition is only natural when there are a limited number of roles for African American women.

Check out a sneak peek of Viola’s comments about the rift between black women in Hollywood. What do you think about her suggestion that it’s natural and we are actually in crisis mode in Hollywood?

These Gals Rock: Viola Davis And Kerry Washington Team Up To Star In On-Screen Adaption Of “Third Girl From The Left”

June 18th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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According to the good folks over at Shadow and Act:

Guess who is working together on the big screen this year? Two of our favorite actresses, Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, are teaming up to help bring to life Third Girl From The Left, a book by Martha Southgate about “three generations of African-American women struggling against all odds” to express themselves and how they cope with the discord occurring in their family. The film will be produced through the 11th annual Fast Track program for the Los Angeles Film Festival, which is a program connecting filmmakers with the right industry professionals to help their projects come to form. Here’s a more thorough description of the synopsis of Third Girl From The Left from S&A:

THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT is the story of the other side of Hollywood in the 1970’s, of what it means to be black, s*xy, smart and full of dreams in a land where “blaxploitation” is as literal as it sounds. Yet this is not a ‘black’ story. This is a vivid and dynamic story about families, all families; and not just the ones we’re born into, but the ones we make for ourselves. It is a compelling saga of love, family secrets and the ambitions of mothers and daughters. It is also a story about the movies and the hold they can have on us, sometimes even despite our better judgment. Angela Edwards, is the shining center of the film, around which we deftly shift points of view, weaving the stories of her mother Mildred and daughter Tamara. Angela and Mildred clash in the way mothers and daughters often do, but manage to forge a bond during many afternoons spent together at the local cinema. Angela yearns to be onscreen herself and eventually leaves her stifling hometown of Tulsa for Hollywood in 1972. It does not live up to her imagination. She does not make it big. Instead, she lands bit parts in campy blaxploitation pictures. In a world where sexual favors to men in power are commonplace, even roles like these require young actresses to offer up more than talent in order to get the gig. Angela dutifully complies. Angela doesn’t become a star, but the allure of movies has marked her for life, just as it did her mother, and just as it will her own daughter.

Definitely sounds interesting. And with these two ladies attached to it (it’s not clear yet which role Davis and Washington will have), I can’t see it being anything but a thought-provoking piece of work, and a success. It remains to be seen who will direct the film and what other actors will be attached to it, but we’re excited nonetheless!

First Look: Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad And Gabrielle Union On ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ Special

June 17th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Look at these gorgeous black women together all in one place. Next Sunday, the OWN network will air a special of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” centered on African American women in Hollywood and Oprah is inviting some of our favorite actresses along for the discussion. Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union will all take part in the dialogue, discussing the challenges, criticisms, and competition they face as African-American women in the entertainment industry.

The in-depth convo will appropriately lead up to the world television premiere of the documentary “Dark Girls,” which answers the question we all already know the answer to: Is life different for women who are darker than most? Check out a sneak peek of both specials in the video above.

The back-to-back episodes will air Sunday, June 23, at 9 pm and 10 pm. Will you watch?

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