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23 Jun. 2013

OWN’s awesome summer – Viola Davis


Viola Davis 2I am overjoyed with the summer programming on OWN.  In the next episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter, she sits down with four leading ladies of Hollywood: Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard, all whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on numerous occasions.  Below is an excerpt from my last conversation with two-time Academy Award nominee, Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help) during our conversation for the Warner Bros. film, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES–

Talk2SV – So often, our women, black actresses are destined to the archetypical roles as judges, prosecutors, police chiefs, lawyers, principals and so on.  As this too has been your path, I have noticed a measure of integrity that you bring to these roles that many assumed were all that there was to Viola Davis.  Perhaps this is why there is such fervor over this particular role.  Many are not aware of the path leading to “Doubt.” 

Davis - Sometimes it takes people time to really see you and notice you.  Sometimes it just takes one role.  I think people probably notice this role more than any of the others because first of all, the way it is written.  Second of all, I’m in a movie with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and they all happen to be megastars and they happen to be “cross-over” stars so it’s not just the black community who’s watching you.  I’m cast in this high profile movie so people notice you from that but you know, with a lot of these roles, let me tell you, you try to find the humanity in each character out of just pride and desperation.  Really that’s all it is because you get tired of always being given the metaphor of the strong, sassy, soulful woman who’s gonna tell you like it is and who’s going to be strong with no vulnerability, no frailty, nothing.  So just out of pride and rebellion (chuckles), you say to yourself ‘I’m going to find some shred of humanity in this role; something, something that’s going to let you know who this woman could really be, to see her.  Of course, it doesn’t always work because you really don’t always have the time to do it, but I do it when I can.

Davis with Oscar winner Jeremy Irons in scene from BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

Davis with Oscar winner Jeremy Irons in scene from BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

“OPRAH’S NEXT CHAPTER” – AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD

Sunday, June 23 from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT

Oprah Winfrey sits down for an in-depth conversation with some of Hollywood’s most powerful female African-American actresses including Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union.  In the discussion, the iconic actresses open up about the challenges, criticism and competition they face as African-American women in Hollywood.  In the groundbreaking conversation, the women shed light on a topic that is not often discussed in the entertainment industry.

Oprah Winfrey OWN 1About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel.  Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable.  Depth with edge.  Heart. Star power. Connection.  And endless possibilities.  OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications.  The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes.  The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com

 

About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.

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