Academy Award-winning actress, Viola Davis says she regretted her role in a 2011 film ‘The Help’ which make her feel like she ‘betrayed’ herself by starring in a movie that wasn’t ready to tell the whole truth.”
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Davis, 55 reflected on one of her biggest breakout movie roles: Aibileen Clark in the 2011 movie saying “Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity,” Davis told Vanity Fair. “They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be Black, but…it’s catering to the white audience.”
“There’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth],” Davis said. She added that it was “created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism.”
This isn’t the first time Davis has spoken out about her regrets around the movie. Back in 2018, Davis did a fan Q&A with the New York Times. When asked if there was a role she regretted turning down, Davis flipped the question.
“Almost a better question is, have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and ‘The Help’ is on that list,” Davis said.
Davis emphasized her positive experience working with the movie’s white director and writer Tate Taylor, as well as her co-stars. Her fault with the movie is how her character, and the other Black characters in the movie, were not the experiential focus of the film.
Davis isn’t the only actress with regrets around the movie. Bryce Dallas Howard, who played one of the racist antagonists in “The Help” said she wouldn’t make that movie today.
The film follows the story of two Black working as maids for a white family in Mississippi in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and has been critiqued for having an oversimplified take on race relations.
Vanity Fair’s latest edition is fronted Viola Davis as photographed by Dario Calmese, she is also set to play former first lady Michelle Obama in one-hour drama “First Ladies’’.