Viola Davis has been quite an inspiration for women across demographics. She represents Black women, older women, mothers, wives, and even actresses. At the Cannes Film Festival, the Oscar winner had a moment to chat with People Magazine about the realities of being an older Black woman in Hollywood.
Viola Davis On Roles In Hollywood
Davis is still on a high from her latest project “Air.” In the film, she plays Deloris Jordan, the mother of NBA legend, Michael Jordan. Jordan’s one condition in allowing the Ben Affleck film to live was Davis playing the part of his mother. She mentioned in the conversation with People, that she always plays mothers. The role was very special to her however, for a different reason.
“A shoe is just a shoe until my son steps into it,” Davis said in the film while playing Deloris Jordan. The scene was focused on Jordan’s mother negotiating the terms of the Air Jordan deal.
“I hadn’t been thinking about it but some lines are inspired by life, and I think that naturally that’s what came through the line. What that whole scene was driven by is worth. And I feel like as a woman, and as a Black woman, I’m always doing that in a room — I’m always negotiating my worth,” Davis said in the People interview.
She added that she would like to see more roles made available to older Black women in Hollywood.
“When it comes to Black women who are over 50, then that is when [the lack of interesting roles] is problematic,” she said. “That’s when it is a vast desert.”
Although she does see a scarcity of roles, Davis remains optimistic.
“Women are no longer begging for a seat at the table, they’re creating their own. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, Michaela Coel, Halle Berry, Keke Palmer, we can keep going on and on — even Marsai Martin, who is what, 18?” Davis questioned. “They’re empowering themselves by understanding that they’re the change that they want to see.”