Viola Davis explains why she regrets her role in 'The Help'

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viola davis the helpMatt Sayles/APViola Davis said she regretted her role in the hit 2011 film "The Help."

  • Viola Davis said in a New York Times interview published Tuesday that she regrets her role in the 2011 film "The Help."
  • The film starred Emma Stone as a white journalist writing a book on the lives of black maids in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement.
  • Davis, 53, said she regretted the role because "it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard."

Viola Davis may have won an Screen Actor's Guild award for her role in the 2011 film "The Help," but the actress says she now regrets taking the part.

In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, the 53-year-old actress was asked if she regrets turning down any roles. Davis said there have been "one or two," but that she's more concerned with the roles she's taken and regretted after shooting.

"'The Help' is on that list," she said.

The film depicts a white journalist (played by Emma Stone) writing a book on the experiences of black maids working in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement. Davis plays one of the maids, named Aibileen.

"I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard," Davis told The Times. "I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They're my grandma. They're my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie."

Davis went on to say that she had a great experience working on the film, and that the friendships she gained "are ones that I'm going to have for the rest of my life."

"I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings. And I could not ask for a better collaborator than Tate Taylor," she said.

The film was largely well received by critics, and a box office success to boot - making nearly $170 million in North America alone.

In addition to winning the Screen Actor's Guild award for best actress in a leading role for the film, Davis was also nominated for best actress at the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Golden Globes.
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