Viola Davis takes her craft very seriously, recently discussing her career and hit show, How to Get Away With Murder, while diving into what it takes to craft authentic characters, especially as it pertains to women.
One of the most memorable scenes from Season 1 of HTGAWM involved the talented beauty removing all of her make up and her wig on-camera, a move Davis felt was necessary if we were to get to the core of Annalise Keating.
“[Actors] are in the business of creating human beings, of finding out what makes you tick — the psychological pathology,” she said Thursday night at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit. “Pathology is the study of tumors. Acting is a study of ‘What is your tumor? What is that nucleus?’ And in order to do that, I felt like if I took that wig off… what it’s going to force the writer to do is write the woman.”
Women very rarely fit the stereotypes placed upon them in television and film, one being that only those with “perfect” bodies or fair skin tones are sexy and sensual.
“Not every woman who is sexual is a size 2. Not every woman who is sexual is walking like a supermodel. And not every woman who is sexual is lighter than a paper bag.”
See Davis and host Joy-Ann Reid discuss the matter below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.