Viola Davis, the Oscar and Emmy award-winning actress, tells HollywoodLife.com that it’s not enough for women to be successful in front of the Hollywood cameras, they need to take control behind the scenes.
Viola Davis plays the trailblazing Annalise Keating on Shonda Rhimes‘ hit series How To Get Away With Murder, but she also works behind the camera, producing a number of TV series, films, and short films. While she is preparing for her latest project The Last Defense, a seven-episode docuseries produced by Davis and her husband Julian Tennon to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, she is using her voice to push for more women being given the jobs and resources they need to create television shows and films. “If you know who you are as a woman and you’re behind that camera, and you’re a producer, and you’re in control of it, then you really have to control it in a way that is honest, that these females are no longer an extension of male fantasy, and how we’ve been defined in the past,” Viola told HollywoodLife.com in an exclusive interview at Variety‘s Power of Women event on October 13th, which was presented by Lifetime. “To have more power and control over the narrative. To have more power and control over the images and the story lines that are an extension of who we are. You have to be brave enough to know who you are and to reflect that in the movies and TV shows that are being put out there. It’s time enough for it.”
Viola was at Variety’s NYC event to introduce groundbreaker Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, who was named one of this year’s nominees, along with Emily Blunt, Alicia Keys, Tina Fey and Margaret Atwood. “I always say, one of the reasons why I am giving Tarana this award is because she is brave,” Viola said, adding that it takes the same bravery to create an honest project. “Time enough… listen, I like getting dressed up too, but we know this is a mask right?! And when we go home, we know the low-down, and it’s even more than just taking off the physical mask. It’s taking off this mask,” she said, pointing to her heart, “The authenticity of who we are at the end of the day has got to be reflected on the screen. Man, we’re at that point.” The empowering presentation was sponsored by Karma Automotive and SheaMoisture, and Padma Lakshmi received the Karma Award and Tamron Hall the Sheamoisture Community Commerce Impact Award.
You can see Viola Davis and all her badassery on How To Get Away With Murder, which just wrapped up its fourth season on ABC! (Reruns, people!)