Viola Davis And Octavia Spencer Cover "Entertainment Weekly", Defend Playing Maids In "The Help"
The Help actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer cover the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (on stands Friday) along with their co-star Emma Stone. Find out what Viola and Octavia had to say about their controversial roles in The Help to "EW" and TIME magazines....
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer join their co-star Emma Stone on the cover of the latest Entertainment Weekly this week.
In the mag, the trio discussed their new controversial film The Help which centers on household employees (i.e. black maids) who share stories about the families they work for in 1960s Jackson, MS. But the movie has attracted criticism for both Octavia and Viola who play "maids" in the movie.
While discussing her role in the film, Octavia said,
“I am thrilled to be playing this woman. She is a human being with the breadth and depth of emotions, and she is a contributing member of society. It should not be ‘Why is Viola Davis playing a maid in 2011?’ I think it should be ‘Viola Davis plays a maid and she gives the f—ing performance of her life.’”
And Viola also addressed the controversy saying,
“There are few movies coming out this year with African-American women in them. Very few are being made. Black actresses have enough obstacles in our way without someone protesting an opportunity for us to show our work on screen. It’s one thing if you go see The Help and you don’t like it. But give it a chance!”
And Viola echos her own statements in an upcoming interview for TIME Magazine that hits stands tomorrow. She summed up the furor over the "maid" role saying,
"The thing about the African-American community compared with the white community is, we are more concerned with image and message than execution,’ she says. ‘I don't play roles that are necessarily attractive or portray a positive image. They are well-rounded characters. When you squelch excellence to put out a message, it's like passing the baton and seeing it drop.’"
Sounds like Viola wants fans to know that these women are important characters and you have to look past their occupation to see the full picture.
I hope it does well for them at the box office as its success could open more doors for Black actresses.