In a new interview with The Wrap, Viola Davis opens up about how she uses her role on the hit ABC series, How To Get Away With Murder as a platform to showcase how real women look and feel when they remove their makeup and heels.
Davis, along with Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson have all been said to be frontrunners for this years Emmy’s awards. In anticipation of the potential nomination, The Wrap draped Davis in a stunning red gown befitting for an acceptance speech.
Here are four take-aways from the in-depth interview that reiterate what an awesome role model and champion Davis is for women as well as women of color.
1. She’s happy with being perfectly imperfect.
“I want to present women as they really are [and] it’s not always about being pretty. But it is about uncovering and feeling comfortable with the way we are and the way we look when we’re in private.” Davis says about the now iconic scene of HTGAWM where she takes off her wig and removes her makeup.
“You know, as soon as you walk through the door, what do you do? You take off your bra, you let your titties sag, you let your hair come off — I mean my hair. I mean, I don’t have any eyebrows. I let my eyebrows be exactly what they are. And it’s me. And I wanted that scene to be somewhere in the narrative of Annalise. That who she is in her public life and who she was in her private life were absolutely, completely diametrically opposed to one another.”
2. She’s redefining what it means to be “sexy” at any age.
When asked if she believes she’s been overlooked for acting roles because she wasn’t “sexy enough” Davis says, “Absolutely.” However, those missed opportunities don’t phase her. “I feel sexual, I feel happy, I feel alive. I sometimes feel insecure, just like any woman, but I feel pretty good about myself at 50” she says.
“And in the history of television and even in film, I’ve never seen a character like Annalise Keating played by someone who looks like me…She is a woman who absolutely culminates the full spectrum of humanity our askew sexuality, our askew maternal instincts. She’s all of that, and she’s a dark-skin black woman…I hear these stories from friends of mine who are dark-skin actresses who are always being seen as crack addicts and prostitutes.”
3. She radiants confidence and a positive self-image.
“I refuse to be a Size 2 because I can’t do that. I talk about my age all the time. I definitely have had no cosmetic work whatsoever. I’m not going to be anything but who I am, because I feel that’s the most novel thing that I can do” she said.
“I think I come off as probably more confident than I actually am, but I think it’s the lack of choice I have. I don’t fit the mold, anyway. And at close to 50, I’ll be 50 soon, I know that no matter how much I alter myself, that I’m not going to fit that mold, that it’s forced me to just step in to who I am. And in the stepping into who I am, I’ve realized that that was the most progressive thing that I could do.”
4. She’s ready to be behind the scenes.
“I don’t know why I’m not interested in directing. Producing, I’m very much, because I feel like you’re more empowered as a producer. You’re more empowered with casting. I just feel like – and I keep saying there’s so many actors out there, all kinds of actors who are journeymen actors” she began.
“They’ve been out there for so long. And if given the opportunity, they could amaze the world and elevate the art. So to be in the position of power to be able to give those actors an opportunity would be priceless.”
Check out Davis head turning photo shoot. To read more of her sit down interview with The Wrap, click here.