Viola Davis: My fears didn’t stop me

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Successful actress Viola Davis won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2017 with her film “Fences”. She made history at the Oscars by becoming the first African-American woman to receive the highest number of awards and the nomination for ‘Best Lead Actress’. Returning to the screen in the role of Michelle Obama in the “First Lady” series, Davis published his book “Finding Me: A Memoir” this year. Successful actress Barbarossa has told Butterfly readers important details of her book and her career through Tapan.

* You have a great career. You have now added the ‘Authors’ section to your resume. How was your writing process?
– The process was very relaxed. I started writing the book during the epidemic when I realized that I was experiencing a financial crisis. ‘Black Lives Matter’ was happening. There were coronaviruses, who fought for their rights. We had a very competitive selection and suddenly I started to see my neighbors differently. I looked at my white colleagues differently. In the process of this whole question, “What am I doing?” I said. And whenever there is a crisis in my existence, it hits the reset button for me. They say when your cell phone breaks down, turn it off and turn it on again. So am I. As a little girl, I came back with my book …

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* You wrote about your childhood. How has your upbringing affected the woman you are today?
– The trauma of my past made me a fighter and a survivor despite the reality … At the end of the day, I grew up in a predominantly white community. I was not impressed. I wasn’t feeling well. But in spite of all these feelings, I kept moving forward. I keep repeating to myself what Anne Lamot said, “Courage is the fear that last prayed.” I understand very well that I have fears and anxieties and realize that I doubt myself. But that doesn’t stop my legs and my soul from moving forward. I don’t think a great life is about the absence of failure, heartbreak and trauma. I think it’s part of the whole journey.

* Where does this self-confidence come from in difficult times?
– I don’t know where it came from. I am sure that when my life is over, when I meet God, He will explain everything to me. You hit the bottom of the rock, you break the heart, and then you have the choice to roll into it and stay there. I was watching a video of the man returning home … It was a bit sad, he was returning home because something had happened to his daughter. On his way home to see what had happened to his daughter, he made an observation. He could see everything clearly, the plants, the birds on the side of the road, the water. I think that’s what happens in life when your heart is broken, you know the value of life. I am grateful for everything I have.

The only thing that makes me angry

* Do you have memories of a moment in your career that stood as a heartbreaking and rejection moment, where you were able to see what was really positive for you and grew because of it?
– It takes time to see the positive side of something like this. Because it’s about what kind of life you’re going to build. When I leave this life, I don’t care what anyone says. You want everyone to know that you have a place in this life. I have a husband, a daughter and a mother and it makes my life meaningful. Your work is really important to you. This is your stamp. It is part of your legacy. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. It really annoys me when I refuse when people say I’m not beautiful enough for a role. It breaks my heart and bothers me for many reasons. Because most of the comments are based on race. Let’s be honest, I have the same feature, the situation would be different if there were five shade lighters. If I had blonde hair and blue eyes, I would be a little different now. It bothers me and breaks my heart. I will not name any project. But that’s exactly what I got with the phrase “courage is the fear that gave his last prayer”. When I was nominated for an Oscar for “The Help”, I thought; “What will happen now?” I was getting a similar role. Because how are they going to play the role of a black skinned woman who was not a model? I was hit on the bottom. But still, I knew it was acting that reminded me of my own worth and made me reconcile this anger.

* However, after being nominated for an Oscar, I thought you could get what you want …
– I grew up in a culture that called me an ‘ugly black nigger’ and what inspired me was to ‘get out of my life’. The only thing that inspired me in my anger was to create a life free of anger. Expressing resentment towards those who practice this racism and telling them ‘there is nothing wrong with you’. This is why my husband and I started Juvi Productions.

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To be black is to disappear

* You are playing Michelle Obama in your new drama “First Lady”. The little girls saw the first black president, the first black first lady. What did it mean to you to be the first black First Lady, the first black president?
– Hope. Growing up, people tell you that you can be anything, you can do anything. ‘You know you’re beautiful, don’t you? Who told you you weren’t beautiful? ‘ They say, for example … and then you look around, but you don’t see any examples. A large percentage of those who tell you that you look beautiful already like you. I entered a room, everyone was looking around. People don’t know they’re doing it because I’m famous. So people look at me. But when people don’t know who I am it’s interesting to be so invisible to others. So to the young black girls,
I say time is precious and they are beautiful. To these girls, to my own daughter, I said, “I don’t care if you mess everything up. You still value it, “I say. You don’t have to do anything for it. You don’t have to be a certain weight. You deserve it.

* We must have more Viola Davis in the world. Was it a conscious thought and idea throughout your career? Do you want to change this perception?
– I think that’s exactly what you do as an actor. When you step into a role, you want to humanize them and people are not the only thing. For example, they are not just angry. They also have a soft side. Even in the role of analytics, I wanted to show weakness as well as anger. I wanted people to see your femininity, not your sexuality. You do it naturally, because you’re trying to be humane. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in the moment. But little Viola kept asking, “Do you know who I am, can you see me?” Said people always ask such questions. For example, how would you choose your role? Why not choose a role that is not angry or that is beautiful? However, most players have no other choice. Do what you got, and what I got was a bunch of bad roles that I had to humanize. So I had to use my acting skills to build three-dimensional characters.

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Viola Davis: My fears didn't stop me

If I’m influencing people, that’s enough for me

* What do you want to be remembered for? In my opinion, you can do and achieve something.
– Thank you for saying that. I just want people to feel less alone. We left behind the epidemic, which also caused mental health problems. It’s really sad to feel alone despite being with people. Nowadays, it is difficult to communicate with people, to connect with oneself. So, if I can do something that makes people feel less lonely; I’m talking about those moments when I feel like “my life has no value” … for anyone who thinks and feels – it doesn’t matter – I will do everything I can for these people … because even Thinking about these proves that a person is “human”. I communicate with a lot of people who say they have been influenced by my life. It means a lot to me. If I had done that, I would have been fine. However, if I do well, I don’t think I need additional rewards.

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Still, black women are in the lead

* Has “How to Get Away with Murder” produced by Shonda Rhymes with Juvi Productions brought about such an unprecedented change in role? You made room for the role of the black woman …
– When I go into a room, everyone shouts “Viola Davis!” I said, “Who is that?” I still don’t see too many black women in the lead roles on TV. When a black woman enters the house, she is not hired, space and story are made for her. Women do not change in spite of the situation, she develops because of the situation. So, I see this. For us only certain genres and certain stories are told. For example, if I wanted to play the role of the mother of a gang member whose son was shot dead in a car, I could do it. But I can’t take on the role of a 56-year-old woman who wants to rediscover herself by flying to Nice and sleeping with five men, to look like me. Although I am Viola Davis! People still can’t reconcile black race with spiritual awakening and sexuality because …

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