Viola Davis: I'll Never Play a Maid Again
Viola Davis has been there, done that. The actress, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as a Southern maid in 2011's The Help, says she has no intention of playing a domestic worker ever again.
In her latest film, Beautiful Creatures, Davis plays a librarian named Amma. The character is a hybrid of two characters, a maid and librarian, who first appeared in the popular book series by authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
"I'm tired of that," Davis, 47, tells CNN of playing a housekeeper. "Me and Octavia [Spencer], Aunjanue Ellis, Roslyn Ruff -- we all played maids in The Help and it was fabulous. It's a fabulous story because we were personalized and all of those things, but I think that people need to see an African American in the 21st century integrated in the life of this town and family who's not in servitude."
Directed by Richard LaGravenese, Beautiful Creatures tells the story of an ordinary high school student, Ethan Wate, who falls in love with a potentially dangerous caster named Lena Duchannes. Davis praised newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert for bringing the characters to life on the big screen.
"They weren't thinking about, 'Everything is resting on my shoulders, how are people going to receive the movie?' That is not your job as an actor," Davis tells CNN. "They were artists doing their job, in the moment, without vanity, with courage. And that's what I respected about them, I really did. There's no sense of stress in any of them. It was wonderful to watch."
Beautiful Creatures is in theaters Feb. 14.