Category: Widows

New Stills from Widows

I have added some additional stills to the gallery for Widows.

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > Films > 2018 | Widows

Viola Davis: “You’re not an actor if you create something based on a social message.”

This is a translated version of an article from Vogue Portugal. Viola was interviewed about her work in the film “Widows”.

The American actress is the protagonist of Widows , the latest film by Steve McQueen, which arrives in theaters in Portugal on November 15. Having this debut in sight, we wanted to talk to Viola Davis to get the conversation up to date.

There are few actresses with the talent and charisma of Viola Davis. For Steve McQueen, he is at the level of the great female stars of the 1940s: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Katherine Hepburn. Some may even disagree. After finishing his studies at the famous Julliard School, Davis began to build his name on the stage before venturing into the world of Cinema and Television. Steven Soderbergh was one of the first to notice in his talent, eventually choosing Viola for Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000) and Solaris (2002). Denzel Washington also surrendered to the American actress and worked with Davis in Antwone Fisher (2002) and Fences (2016).

His more mainstream mediatism came with his first Oscar nomination, with a small but overwhelming role in Doubt (2008), where he starred opposite Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It has achieved another milestone with The Help (2011), an emotional view of the vital, yet blatant, importance of the inequality and position of African-American maids in the southern US states at the height of the Civil Rights movement. It was with Fences that she finally won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress , an adaptation of Denzel Washington’s August Wilson play, which had previously performed and garnered a Tony Award. To complete the prize pool, Denzel’s feature film brought him a BAFTA and a Golden Globe , while the hit series How To Get Away With Murder earned him an Emmy , naming himself the first African- win a statuette for Best Actress in prime time.

Recently, Viola Davis is protagonist of Widows , the new film of Steve McQueen. In the feature film, she plays Veronica, the wife of the charismatic thief played by Liam Neeson, Harry. In this plot, she is left alone and needs to survive without her husband. In order to do so, he must carry out an assault he had already planned but left him behind and now needs to realize it with the help of the members of his widow gang. Elegant and reserved, Veronica is not the kind of woman who imagines herself to be performing an assault of this caliber, yet Viola Davis convinces her otherwise and shows that there is no other possible way to do so.

This is the type of paper that could result in more trophies to join the collection, but for Viola Davis herself, this work offers you two advantages. One of them the opportunity to work with McQueen, director of Hunger (2008), Shame (2011) and 12 Years A Slave (2013) – winner of an Oscar. The second was to have the power to break some boundaries and challenge some of Hollywood’s insights – something I discuss below.

Do you remember when you met Steve McQueen? Was it with this movie, or had it already been found?

I already knew him. I wanted to say it was about The Help … But it was definitely at the BAFTA party in Los Angeles. One of those conversations where he basically asked me, “Why do not you have better roles?” If they knew Steve, they knew he did not care what words he chose. Your forte is to move on, but I believe that was the theme of the conversation during the party.

Continue reading

Build Series | Steve McQueen, Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez & Elizabeth Debicki Discuss “Widows”

From Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Viola Davis: ‘I Always Want to Be a Complete Person’

Shondaland.com gives us a peek at the Widows Q&A.

In a post-screening Q+A, the cast and director of “Widows” talked collaboration, representation, and what they learned on set.

Steve McQueen’s latest effort, “Widows,” dropped onto Must See Lists late last year with little more than the reveal of its cast. After all, who wouldn’t be intrigued by a political thriller, heist, melodrama (yes, it’s all of these things) starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Daniel Kaluuya. And from the deep intimacy of its opening shot, to the many sharp twists throughout, “Widows” delivers. It is, without exaggeration (or spoilers), everything one might expect from a McQueen movie that also happens to be co-written by the mystery-thriller expert, Gillian Flynn.

Meshing together low stakes local politics and high stakes action, “Widows” follows Veronica (Davis), Linda (Rodriguez), and Alice (Debicki), three women whose dead husbands leave behind a few million dollars worth of unfinished business in their wake. When the widows’ lives are threatened by a wannabe Chicago Alderman, Jamal Manning (Henry) and his brother Jatemme (Kaluuya, in easily one of the scariest performances of the year), they have to take matters into their own hands in order to survive.

We were lucky enough to attend a recent screening that concluded with a Q+A panel featuring, McQueen, Davis, Rodriguez, and Kaluuya. In the brief time they had with the audience, each artist shared what originally drew them to the project, some of the lessons they took away, and a few gems that will definitely make our second viewings (and third, and fourth — to be honest, this movie is coming for its things this awards season) that much more compelling.

Why this project, and why now?
“… It’s just a case of wanting to tell stories. It’s that simple … I wanted to put that fabric of our current political and socio-political, racial, environment into the sort of DNA of [‘Widows’]. It’s honest. It had to happen, because otherwise, it becomes just another heist story. We all know about what’s happening around us, and to sort of put that into a narrative is very important. [The difficulty in arranging] child care. Horrific sort of politicians. False prophets. It’s in our everyday.” – Steve McQueen

“I have always wanted to be in an action movie, ever since ‘Get Christy Love.’ I’ve always wanted to kick somebody’s ass, because I wanted to kick people’s ass in life. And there was something about channeling that power [while making ‘Widows’] that I did like. But I didn’t necessarily sign on to it because of the action part of it. I signed on to it because I felt that it was a complete story. And [my character Veronica] was a complete character. And actually the thing that really struck me was [that] the core of [‘Widows’] was a love story. This woman is in love with a man, [Liam Neeson], and that is usually what’s not associated with me either. I always want to be a complete person. I always feel like that’s the elusive thing when it comes to people of color, you know what I mean?” – Viola Davis

Continue reading

Outtakes from British Vogue

Added some beautiful outtakes of Viola from a feature in British Vogue. The November issue featured the cast of Widows.

Meanwhile, another maverick, contributing editor and Academy Award-winner Steve McQueen, returns to cinemas with his explosive follow-up to 12 Years a Slave. Vogue meets the amazing cast of his thriller Widows; four talented women changing the face of mainstream cinema.

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > Outtakes > 2018 > 011

Toronto Film Review: Viola Davis in ‘Widows’

“In “Widows,” the power of Davis’s performance is that she lets you know, in every scene, that Veronica is living in a world of treachery.”

Steve McQueen’s real-world heist movie gives Viola Davis a powerful role as a crime widow who takes cold-eyed command of her desperation.

Speaking on stage at the Toronto International Film Festival, right before the premiere of “Widows,” his first movie since “12 Years a Slave” (which was five years ago), director Steve McQueen talked about how important it was to set movies in the world of real, recognizable human beings. A lot of us would second that sentiment, yet it’s still not what you expect to hear from someone who’s introducing a heist film. The genre has been around in a major way since the early ’50s, and the template has always been this: When characters get together to plan and execute a robbery, we may see the quiet desperation of their lives, we may taste an ashy undertone of cynical “reality,” but it’s really all about the trip-wire cleverness of the crime itself. Heist movies unfold in a caper-film bubble, and that, one way or another, is their key pleasure.

But “Widows,” as McQueen implied, is another story. It’s a movie in which three women, whose husbands all perished in a robbery gone wrong, band together to steal $5 million, even though none of them has the slightest experience at acting like a criminal. And the web of dire circumstances that lead them to hatch this scheme in no mere set-up — it’s the dramatic heart of the movie. “Widows,” adapted from a British TV crime drama that was first broadcast in 1983, has a script co-written by McQueen and the novelist and screenwriter Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl,” “Sharp Objects”), and it presents an enjoyably dark and sleazy vision of ordinary lives intertwining with the hurly-burly of street thuggery, local machine politics, and half a dozen other forms of daily corruption.

The movie, set in contemporary Chicago, opens with Veronica Rawlins (Viola Davis) and her husband, Harry (Liam Neeson), who happens to be major crook, kissing the hell out of each other in bed. The simple fact of a mixed-race marriage presented this casually is still startling to see in a mainstream movie, to the point that we can’t help but invest this passionate pair with a certain romantic idealism. But that’s snuffed pretty quickly. Their early moments are intercut with a turbulent chase, seen from the vantage of a getaway van with its back doors banging open, that ends with Harry and his crew being fired on by the police, until the van explodes into flames, killing all the men onboard. So much for domestic bliss.

Veronica is suddenly a widow. More than that, she’s a widow whose husband left her owing $2 million. That’s how much he stole from Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), who’s running for alderman of his ward, but he’s also a strong-arm crook who demands that Veronica liquidate her assets, including the sprawling penthouse she lives in, to pay him back.

Viola Davis’s commanding performance roots this scenario in icy fear and shock. Veronica can’t believe what’s happened to her (overnight, she has lost everything), and her eyes tell you that she knows it’s just going to get worse. She keeps having flashbacks to her life with Harry, including one where they nuzzle to Nina Simone singing “Wild Is the Wind.” It’s hard not to notice that Davis, her hair cut short, her eyes beams of fury, would be an ideal actress to portray Nina Simone. She has that kind of force.

Continue reading

Viola & Widows at the Toronto Film Festival

Viola has been taking Toronto by storm this past weekend as she publicizes her new film Widows. She attended two press conferences and a premiere with her cast mates.


Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > 2018 > September 8 | Widows Press Conference in Toronto
Viola Davis Online > 2018 > September 8 | Toronto Film Festival – Widows Premiere
Viola Davis Online > 2018 > September 9 | Toronto Film Festival – Widows Press Conference

Page 1 of 2 1 2