How to Get Away With Murder star, Viola Davis recently did an interview with The Wrap following her standout role on the Shonda Rhimes series. In the interview, Davis touched on many themes regarding beauty, standards of feminity and her experience as a black actress in Hollywood.
On the inspiration behind the infamous wig scene:
It’s not always about being pretty. But it is about uncovering and feeling comfortable with the way we are and the way we look when we’re in private. You know, as soon as you walk through the door, what do you do? You take off your bra, you let your titties sag, you let your hair come off–I mean my hair. I mean, I don’t have any eyebrows. I let my eyebrows be exactly what they are. And it’s me.
On what it means to be a dark skinned actress in Hollywood:
That being said, when you do see a woman of color onscreen, the paper-bag test is still very much alive and kicking. That’s the whole racial aspect of colorism: If you are darker than a paper bag, then you are not sexy, you are not a woman, you shouldn’t be in the realm of anything that men should desire.
On her groundbreaking role in How to Get Away with Murder:
And in the history of television and even in film, I’ve never seen a character like Annalise Keating played by someone who looks like me. My age, my hue, my sex. She is a woman who absolutely culminates the full spectrum of humanity our askew sexuality, our askew maternal instincts. She’s all of that, and she’s a dark-skin black woman. Some people who watch TV have acknowledged that and understand that. But I encourage you to search your memory and think of anyone who’s done this. It just hasn’t happened. I hear these stories from friends of mine who are dark-skin actresses who are always being seen as crack addicts and prostitutes.
Well, we salute you Viola for making major strides in Hollywood for women of color.
What do you think of Viola’s interview? Do you think the industry could benefit from more actresses of color speaking out about race and colorism?