Viola Davis is one of Hollywood’s most talked about actresses. The Academy Award and Tony winner is promoting her new film, Widows and in a recent Q&A with The New York Times, she revealed that she regrets the role of Aibleen Clark in 2011’s The Help. “Have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and The Help is on that list,” she said.
The 2011 film is based on the novel written by Kathryn Stockett. With Emma Stone in the lead role as Skeeter Phelan, The Help followed her story about writing a book based on the stories and lives of black maids working in the South during segregation. The maids, played by Octavia Spencer and Davis became the focal points of the film — as well as critical darlings. Spencer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2012.
Still, for all of the awards and acclaim the film received, Davis feels that it didn’t do justice to the voices of the black women that were the crux of the story. “I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” she said. “I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie.”
But all isn’t lost. Davis says she forged great friendships that will last her a lifetime on set of the movie and particularly enjoyed director Tate Taylor.