Why Viola Davis 'Regrets' Acting in 'The Help'

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 10:00 AM
Why Viola Davis 'Regrets' Acting in 'The Help'

Viola Davis has had plenty of memorable roles in her acting career thus far. From playing Denzel Washington's scorned wife in Fences, to the titular role on the TV drama "How to Get Away With Murder." She's also starring in the upcoming film Widows. Yet, there's one role that she regrets. 

"Have I ever done roles that I've regretted? I have, and 'The Help' is on that list," Davis said this week at the Toronto Film Festival.

The film, which came out in 2011, was based off Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel. It offered the perspectives of African Americans working in white households in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Their voices, however, were not loud enough in the film, according to Davis.

"I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard," she explained. "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."

What's interesting is that Davis wasn't even asked what roles she regretted. The New York Times asked if she had any roles she regretted not taking. But, clearly her experience on The Help was on her mind and she jumped on the opportunity to speak her mind about it.

She was, however, thankful for the friendships that the film formed. Her bonds with the other actresses are ones she's going to have "the rest of her life," she said. 

The Help also starred Emma Stone, Olivia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Allison Janney. The film won several accolades, including an Academy Award for Spencer, who won for Supporting Actress, beating out Chastain. Davis was nominated for Best Actress.