Viola Davis Says She Will Never Play A Maid Again

Last year, Viola Davis drew criticism for her critically-acclaimed role as Aibileen Clark in "...

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Last year, Viola Davis drew criticism for her critically-acclaimed role as Aibileen Clark in "The Help." Davis shot down her critics, but in recent interviews she says she will never play a maid again.

“I'm tired of that,” Davis told CNN of playing maid roles. “We played – me and Octavia [Spencer], Aunjanue Ellis, Roslyn Ruff – we all played maids in ‘The Help’ and it was fabulous, it's a fabulous story because we were personalized and all of those things, but I think that people need to see an African-American in the 21st century integrated in the life of this town and family who's not in servitude."

The character she plays in her upcoming film, "Beautiful Creatures," was written as a maid in the book from which the film was adapted. Davis says she embraced the change.

She told The Hollywood Reporter, "Richard LaGravenese forbade us from reading the book. He said, "Do not touch the book." I got the book. I read half of it and then I put it down, because Amma is a maid, and I just said, “OK, there’s nothing I can learn from this.” This is a total re-imagining of the character, and I like it. I’m going to be confident and bold and say I like it because, listen, I understand and I respect the book, and I think the book is wonderful, but this is 2013, and I think that when black people are woven into the lives of characters in 2013, then I think they play other roles than maids"


"Beautiful Creatures" debuts in theaters February 14. 

Related:

Black Women Should Come Out of Hiding In Honor of Viola Davis
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