In a business where the younger you are and the whiter you are can make the difference between you booking a role and not booking a role, its uplifting to see Viola Davis hitting her stride, at the age of 46 no less. Viola Davis is a serious actor and this year she receives her second Oscar nomination for her brilliantly realistic portrayal of Aibileen, a maid in 1960s Mississippi. Viola gives Aibileen a strength and subtlety few other actresses could have pulled off. If the white men in suits who run Hollywood want to accurately portray the diversity of humanity and the human experience they need to take a better look at Viola because there are so many more actors of color out there who are hungry for good, meaty roles that don’t just propagate decades-old stereotypes that have their roots in minstrel shows. I think Viola is an inspiration to actors everywhere.
Here are a couple of clips from The Help:
A nice interview:
Her SAG acceptance speech: