This year Viola attended and presented at the annual Women in Film Gala. I have images from the event to our gallery.
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > June 12 | Women in Film Gala
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > June 12 | Women in Film Gala – Audience
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > June 12 | Women in Film Gala – Ceremony
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > June 12 | Women in Film Gala – Press Room
Viola’s co-star and friend the amazing Cicely Tyson spoke with Emmy Magazine about how amazing it is to work with Viola on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.
TheWrap Emmy Magazine: “When I have an opportunity to work with someone that giving, it’s extraordinary,” Tyson says of the “How to Get Away With Murder” star
At 94 years old, Cicely Tyson finally has the ability to pick and choose any role she wants. “I’ve said this to a number of directors and writers recently, but I just would like to have fun,” Tyson said. “I want to do a role that’s funny, I want to do a foreign role. I just want to be an actress.”
That’s not a freedom Tyson has enjoyed throughout her career. That’s partially due to Hollywood’s historically limited offerings for African American actresses, but also because she came into the business with high standards for herself and an imposing sense of duty toward her community. At a press screening of her breakout film “Sounder” in 1972, Tyson recalled that a white man stood up after the movie ended and announced that he was upset by the portrayal of a black family whose sons referred to their father as “daddy” — because that was what his own two young sons called him.
“It was at that moment that I realized that I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress,” Tyson said. “There were a number of issues that I needed to address, and I made the decision then to use my career as my platform. And as difficult as it was — I went for years without working because of this choice–ultimately I know I made the right choice.”
But now, seven decades into a trailblazing career as an activist and humanitarian, Tyson finally feels able to select whichever roles speak to her as an artist. And for the last five seasons, that’s meant guest starring on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” opposite Viola Davis. “One of the most talented actresses in the business — she’s flawless,” Tyson said of Davis, who herself has cited Tyson as an inspiration. “When I have an opportunity to work with someone that giving, it’s extraordinary. It doesn’t happen too often in one’s career.
“There isn’t a moment in a scene with her that I don’t feel that she is my daughter and that I am her mother,” she added. “It truly is a gift.”
ABC News shares that Viola has been cast in a new film!
The story centers on Ma Rainey, the pioneering “Queen of the Blues,” during the time she is making a record in a studio in Chicago in 1927.
Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix.
George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts.
Denzel Washington is producing with Todd Black and Dany Wolf. Constanza Romero is executive producing. Academy Award winner Ann Roth is the costume designer and Branford Marsalis has been signed as the composer.
The story centers on Ma Rainey, the pioneering “Queen of the Blues,” during the time she is making a record in a studio in Chicago in 1927 with tensions boiling between her, her white agent and producer and her bandmates. The play won the 1985 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play.
Netflix announced the project on Wednesday. Filming will commence next month in Pittsburgh.
YES! Thank you Variety for the news!
ABC is continuing its Thursday walks through Shondaland.
The Alphabet has renewed “Grey’s Anatomy” for record 16th and 17th seasons, “How To Get Away With Murder” for a sixth season, and “Station 19” for a third outing.
The network has also announced that “Grey’s” showrunner and EP Krista Vernoff will be taking over showrunning duties for the spinoff “Station 19” as well.
“Everyone at Shondaland is thrilled that our fans’ commitment to TGIT continues,” said Shonda Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers in a joint statement. “We are so proud of Krista and Pete and the work they do. Making the choice to have Krista oversee ‘Station 19’ was easy — the creativity she brings to the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ universe continues a tradition of storytelling we hold dear.”Continue Reading
This project is very personal to Viola and I want you to take a moment and watch the trailer for “A Touch of Sugar”
Viola spoke to Hilaria Baldwin from Extra about her plans for mothers day!
Viola did a beautiful interview with Sunday Today’s Willie Geist this past week.
“The elixir is living a life that is bigger than you.”
Here is a clip of the interview and stills from the interview.
Oscar winner Viola Davis has a storied road through Hollywood, having grown up poor but leaving her mark across stage and screen. In this week’s Sunday Sitdown, the “Fences” star talks to Willie Geist about her work on the new documentary “A Touch of Sugar” to raise awareness of diabetes.
May 09, 2019 0
May 9, 2019 • Ali • Leave a Comment
CNN shared that Viola is totally open to another season of How to Get Away With Murder …. come on ABC! We need more Annalise Keating!
Viola Davis has been killing it in ABC’s “How To Get Away with Murder” for five seasons and she’s ready for more.
As the network contemplates the future of the show, Davis told CNN in a recent interview she would “absolutely” be up for reprising her role as law professor, Annalise Keating, if given the opportunity.
“That’s up to ABC and more,” she said when asked if the show would return. Adding, “Oh yeah, absolutely [I’d come back].”
On the series, Davis’ character plays mentor to group of young, trouble-prone law students. “These kids are bad. Wouldn’t you agree with that?” Davis joked.
“I think Annalise is badass,” added Davis, who has won an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild award for her role in the drama. “I think she’s the most misunderstood woman on television.”
The legal thriller, which was created by Shonda Rhimes, still has a devoted following despite a drop in viewership. CNN has reached out to ABC for comment on the show’s fate.
Broadcast networks are expected to make decisions on renewals and cancellations ahead of TV Upfront presentations to advertisers scheduled for later this month.
ABC’s panel takes place May 14.
Davis, who is currently the narrator of a new documentary about diabetes funded by Merck, “A Touch of Sugar,” said in this next chapter of her career, she hopes to continue pursuing projects she’s passionate about.
This is one of the reasons she launched a production company, JuVee, with her husband Julius Tennon, which announced a first-look deal with Amazon Studios last year.
“I want to change the narratives for people of color,” Davis explained. “That’s my legacy. I no longer just want to be a social message, a social image. I don’t want to be magical.”
“When you put pen to paper and you write a story and you start with once upon a time and you lean in, all people want to hear is a great story,” David added. “I want to believe that my face is in there or someone that looks like me or my daughter. That’s it. That’s all that I want.”
May 08, 2019 0
May 8, 2019 • Ali • Leave a Comment
Variety shares that Viola is one of the keynote speakers for the Variety Inclusion Summit this week.
Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Marlee Matlin will be some of the keynote speakers at Variety‘s 2019 Inclusion Summit on Thursday.
Davis and Tennon, spouses and co-presidents of Juvee Productions, will speak with Variety‘s co-editor in chief, Claudia Eller, about their production company’s mission to push for more inclusive storytelling in TV and film. Matlin, the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award, will speak about her long film career and work with the Ruderman Family Foundation, a private organization that supports people with disabilities.
Additional highlights at the summit include a roundtable discussion of Lifetime’s groundbreaking “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary featuring survivors and executive producers behind the project.
“People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world, representing 20 percent of the population, yet seldom are they authentically represented in film and TV projects,” said Jay Ruderman, president of Ruderman Family Foundation. “Variety’s Inclusion Summit is the ideal forum for an overdue elevated conversation about the authentic casting of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry.”
The day-long conference will include various panels with celebrities and Hollywood executives speaking about gender, disability, sexual identity, ethnicity and age representation in the entertainment industry. Journalist Ann Curry and “Chasing the Cure” showrunner Kim Bondy will participate in another keynote moderated by Eller, and Karamo Brown of “Queer Eye,” #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke and “The Real” host Tamera Mowry-Housley will also speak at several panels.
“Variety’s Inclusion Summit provides a platform to continue the ongoing and necessary conversation to overcome systemic biases in the industry,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety’s group publisher and chief revenue officer. “Our panels and keynotes further explore the opportunities and challenges in supporting underrepresented communities in this industry.”
Ruderman Family Foundation is the premier partner of Inclusion, City National Bank is an official partner and the Oprah Winfrey Network is a supporting partner.
More information on the Inclusion Summit can be found on the event website.
Apr 30, 2019 0
April 30, 2019 • Ali • Leave a Comment
The Hollywood Reporter highlighted 50 individuals who have helped drive opportunities for more diversity in Hollywood … including Viola.
Meet the creative and business forces — including Kenya Barris, Laverne Cox, Jon M. Chu and Norman Lear — who are shifting the industry’s landscape to drive opportunities onscreen and off for fresh talents and leaders: “I want to do things that break what I expect Hollywood to do.”
“Every time someone earnestly explains why it is so incredibly deeply difficult for them to find a woman or a man of color to hire,” says Shonda Rhimes, “an angel loses its wings.” In other words, it’s way past time for Hollywood’s offices, sets and writers rooms to represent robust diversity, and THR’s first-ever roster of Agents of Change highlights the key figures working daily to make that happen. They were chosen — after extensive reporting and consultation with stakeholders at every level of entertainment, as well as key members of inclusion-centered industry groups like Time’s Up and ReFrame — for their active leadership and mentorship: These are the producers, execs, creators, stars and advocates making content, making hires and making noise for those still finding their voice. Adds Rhimes, “Good men fix broken things.” So meet the good men (including some straight white dudes), good women and one nonbinary person who are leading the way.
The Oscar winner and Time’s Up activist is an outspoken advocate for pay parity, speaking about her experiences as a woman of color who has repeatedly been paid less than her male and white female counterparts. The 53-year-old actress, who earned acclaim working with black creatives like Steve McQueen, Shonda Rhimes and Denzel Washington, has also committed to fostering the next generation of behind-the-camera talent. Under her and husband Julius Tennon’s JuVee banner, which has a first-look deal with Amazon, she’s developing features with such directors as Maggie Betts and telling diverse stories like The Woman King, an Africa-set epic about an all-female military unit.