When Viola Davis and Kerry Washington collaborated in the films, Hot To Get Away With Murder and Scandal, Davis said she felt as if she had made history. When speaking with reporters from NET-A-PORTER’s digital magazine, Davis stated she was amazed by the fact that two dynamic characters who were also black were featured on the same screen.
Her interview comes after claiming – during an acceptance speech at the 2015 Emmys – that there was a necessity for more “roles that are simply not there.”
However, Davis noted changes are currently being made in Hollywood right now in the sense that characters which don’t conform to racial stereotypes are becoming more ubiquitous.
Furthermore, the 52-year-old said finally getting to play a “sexual role” as a woman after being denied that experience for so long was remarkable.
She said, “rarely have I ever been allowed to explore that part of myself,” or to be given permission to do so. The importance of body size and a particular look was always emphasized, a standard which her body type did not fit into.
The changes the actress speak of are coming at a time when the #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo movement are at the forefront of public discourse, but especially in Hollywood.
Davis admitted she hopes there will be more changes behind the scenes in the future, and it appears to be the case with notable examples of the recent smash hit, Black Panther.
The 52-year-old Emmy Award winner said there aren’t roles for people who are of color unless it’s about civil rights or urban dramas. She said, “I could be seen the same way as Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, or Meryl Streep.”