Viola Davis on seeking significance after achieving success

first_imgTORONTO – Stage, screen and film star Viola Davis says now that she’s achieved a level of success, she’s focused on achieving “significance.”“You get a certain amount of money, you buy a house, you’re on a TV show, which I’m at, and then you’re tired,” the Oscar-winner said Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival when asked how she measures success after all of her accolades.“You’re just tired and disillusioned. And frankly, just being honest, you’re miserable a lot. You’re like, ‘I’m tired, I don’t want to go to work, people don’t even know how hard this is,’” she said to laughs from her fellow cast members and assembled media.“You start complaining in your 8,000-square-foot house. And you realize that you’ve missed the final step — which is not success, but significance.”Davis made the comments while supporting her latest feature, the Chicago-set heist thriller “Widows.”Adapted from a 1980s-era British TV series by “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen and “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn, it follows four women forced to take extreme measures when their criminal husbands are killed on a job that goes very wrong.The film’s star-packed press conference included score composer Hans Zimmer and co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya and Colin Farrell.Davis spoke about what drives her work today, and called on Hollywood to do more to cast a variety of actors in significant roles.“I measure significance as living a life bigger than myself, that’s why I have a production company. When I became an actress, I became an actress because I saw Miss Cecily Tyson in ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’” she said.“She gave me permission to do it. But she also showed me a way out of poverty, of feeling invisible, and I just feel like the narratives that are created in Hollywood right now have got to become inclusive. They have got to reflect the changing world and the changing cultures.”Davis, who also stars in the drama “How to Get Away With Murder,” which returns to ABC and CTV later this month, said she’s mindful of “that little girl” she used to be.“I want that little girl to be able to see images that she can attach herself to and to give her permission to feel … that she is being seen,” she said.Erivo said Davis was her inspiration, in the way that Tyson was for Davis.“You know that you were that for me, right?” the British Broadway star said, turning to Davis.“You don’t see it enough, you don’t see the woman that gets to be messy, to be onscreen and not have to be liked and be OK with that, to be intelligent and that’s what I knew I wanted to be able to do but didn’t ever see that until you (did it). So thank you.”last_img

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