Viola Davis Graces Vanity Fair Cover, Shot By A Black Photographer For The First Time In Magazine's History
Jul 14, 2020
Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award winner Viola Davis is Vanity Fair's July/August cover star and is the first to be shot by a black photographer in Dario Calmese.
<p>The multi-talented star sits down with Vanity Fair's Sonia Saraiya to <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/07/cover-story-viola-davis" target="_blank">discuss</a> family, protests, theater, and more. </p><p>Following the killing of <a href="https://celebritypage.com/hollywood-speaks-out-for-george-floyd" target="_blank">George Floyd</a>, Davis felt a desire to protest in order to make a difference, yet did not want to put vulnerable family members at risk. This caused her and Octavia Spencer to organize a neighborhood demonstration of those mindful of her health. About the protest, Davis shares:</p><blockquote>"We said we'd just be out there for a few minutes, and it ended up being hours, hours. Almost like a big dam bursting open...We got a few [middle] fingers. But this was the first time the fingers did not bother me."</blockquote><p>Davis has been outspoken about <a href="https://celebritypage.com/this-2018-viola-davis-speech-about-women-of-color-in-hollywood-is-still-relevant-today?q=viola%2Bdavis" target="_blank">the struggles about being a women of color in Hollywood</a> for years, explaining her enthusiastic involvement in the <a href="https://celebritypage.com/tag/social-justice" target="_blank">Black Lives Matter</a> movement. </p><p>She discusses the challenged of growing up poor in Rhode Island and how her mother and her sisters acted as her support system, saying:</p><blockquote>"[They] looked at me and said I was pretty. Who's telling a dark-skinned girl that she's pretty? Nobody says it. I'm telling you, Sonia, nobody says it. The dark-skinned Black woman's voice is so steeped in slavery and our history. If we did speak up, it would cost us our lives. </blockquote><blockquote></blockquote><p>Since then, Davis has made a name for herself in Hollywood, winning multiple awards on screen and on stage. She earned an Oscar nomination in 2008 for <em>Doubt</em> also starring Meryl Streep. About working with Streep, Davis says:</p><blockquote>"What do you call someone who shares your belief system? She's in my tribe, Meryl is."</blockquote><p>Now as a highly decorated actress, Davis hopes to be a voice for the next generation of black female actresses looking to get their start in Hollywood. About this, she says:</p><blockquote>"There's not enough opportunities out there to bring that unknown, faceless Black actress to the ranks of the known. To pop her!"</blockquote><p>In this interview, Davis looks back at <em><a href="https://celebritypage.com/the-help-actress-bryce-dallas-howard-advises-fans-to-watch-movies-better-suited-for-education-on-racism" target="_blank">The Help</a></em> in which she portrayed maid Aibileen. She speaks about how that movie while expanding her career also propagated systemic racism, noting:</p><blockquote>"There's no one who's not entertained by The Help. But 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] The Help, like so many other movies, was "created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism."</blockquote><p>Looking ahead, Davis is set to play Michelle Obama in Showtimes's White House drama, <em>First Ladies</em>, but currently in the wake of social distancing, the actress decides to slow down a bit.</p><blockquote>"I don't put any limits on myself. But I feel the disillusionment of being busy…. My work is not all of me. I used to say when I was younger, Acting is not what I do, it's who I am. I look back at myself like, what the hell were you talking about?" </blockquote><p>You can read the entire interview <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/07/cover-story-viola-davis" target="_blank">here</a>!</p>
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