Viola Davis Controversy: Some viewers thought Davis pursed her lips too much, and many said her facial expressions were distracting and rude. Davis told BBC News that it is “very hurtful” when people say bad things about their work. She said that criticism was a “hazard of the job” for actors.
“How do you get over hurt and failure?” asked the 56-year-old. “You have to, though. Not every performance is going to be good enough to win an award.” Media outlets brought attention to the online criticism of how she played the former First Lady, a lawyer and the wife of former US President Barack Obama, in Showtime’s series.
The Daily Mail said that Davis was “ruthlessly made fun of” and pointed to a lot of mean tweets about him. One person who watched the show said that Davis’s “exaggerated” portrayal was “unnecessary and almost insulting.” Someone else tweeted: “They set up Viola Davis by letting her talk like that the whole time they were filming. It makes me cringe and is so annoying.”
Some viewers thought Davis’s face looked like “duckface,” which is a term for an exaggerated pout that social media influencers often use. One user joked, “Viola Davis‘s face must have looked so tired.”
But Davis came back with a strong answer: “Critics serve no purpose at all. I’m not being mean when I say that either. “They always feel like they’re telling you something you don’t know. Somehow, you live in a world where people lie to you, and you say, “I’m going to be the one to lean in and tell you the truth.” So it gives them a chance to treat you badly.
“But in the end, I think it’s my job as a leader to make brave decisions. It is my job to do that, win or lose.” The star says it was “almost impossible” to play someone as well-known as Michelle Obama. She said, “Either you do too much or not enough.” And she has no idea what the real woman thought of the way she played her. She said, “I don’t know Michelle Obama and I don’t talk to her.”
Finding Me, Davis’s new book about her life, is about to come out. It is shockingly honest and sometimes makes you drop your jaw as it tells how she went from being poor and abused to winning an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for acting. She won the Academy Award for best-supporting actress for her part in Denzel Washington’s Fences, which was based on August Wilson’s book of the same name.
Davis won an Emmy for the TV drama How to Get Away with Murder and two Tonys for King Hedley II and Fences when they were on Broadway. But she said she wrote the book in part because she doesn’t want to “go to my grave” only being known for the things above.
“I have the awards on my mantel, but I have to tell you that they don’t help me when I’m going through something,” she said. “I’m very appreciative of the awards. Knowing where I came from, I can’t believe I’ve been able to do what I’ve done. But that’s the beginning and the end of it.”
Growing up Poor
“Every day, all I did was fight. I fought on both an emotional and a physical level. From the moment I put my feet on the floor, everything was a fight.” “Having clothes to wear to school was the first fight,” she says. If we had soap and dish soap, I would wash my clothes in the sink at night, and hopefully, the pants would be dry in the morning. If they were wet, they would try to find a way to stay wet.
“Or, if you accidentally hung them up to dry when they were still frozen, you could still do it, and hopefully by the end of the day they would be dry. It’s a fight for the most basic needs.” “I grew up poor and didn’t have any food,” she says in a matter-of-fact way.
Davis was also sexually abused, which she talked about in a 2016 speech at the Annual Brunch of the Rape Foundation. “Stranger old men on the street,” friends, babysitters, neighbors, and even her own brother all hurt her. In Finding Me, she writes about what went on.
“As a child, I was sexually abused in a scary number of different ways. It was clear that your job in life was to protect yourself from sexual predators. But Davis says, “I only know now that what was happening was bad because I can look back.” We ask her if she was worried about being so honest in the book, and she says that she was worried about what her family would think.
“I had to tell the truth for me,” she says. “They don’t tell you that it will cost you something, to tell the truth. It will probably cost you something, maybe even separating you from your family or making you hard to understand. But you can’t live any other way.
“There are some people I feel like, if you wanted me to say good things about you, you should have done more for me.” So how did she get away from her childhood and end up where she is now? How did she get out of being poor? “Luck and blessings are a big part of it, which is something we can’t explain,” she says.
“But I found something I loved doing a lot, and I did it all the time. I did it the best that I could. The horse was mine. I had drive even when I didn’t have confidence or self-love. “You find the joy, and the joy makes the pain go away.”