Viola Davis: Real Life Wonder Woman Brings Joy, Pain & Range To “Fences”



(AllHipHop Lifestyle) Viola Davis is a master and she brings almost all that she is as a thespian to “Fences,” based on the award-winning August Wilson play of the same name. The movie, set in the 50’s, chronicles an a seemingly ordinary American family in Pittsburgh. After a few minutes, it is apparent that the complexities and layers of The Maxson Family are anything but ordinary. As Rose the matriarch, Davis presents a character that is able to shoulder the massive weight and responsibility of guiding a family,where as Troy (Denzel Washington) falls short. She holds nothing back. “I’ve been standing with you,” Rose screams to Troy. “I give 18 years of my life to stand in the same spot as you!” The movie examines the relationship between father and song, husband and wife and family and life. There is something here for everybody. Moreover, “Fences” realigns the African American experience with the fabric of the country consciousness.

Chuck Creekmur talked to Viola Davis on the red carpet on the red carpet at the New York premiere of  “Fences.” Viola Davis, the master. I have to ask you about this movie and what it means to you and the broader audience, as well, as a body of work, as a film.

Viola Davis: What it means is bringing August’s work to a wider audience. He had a vision to chronicle every decade of life for African Americans in a century, American century cycle, and he did that before he died in 2005. His final vision was to see Fences brought to screen. He didn’t make it to see that, but it’s been done.


Viola Davis: I have to believe that he, somewhere, is seeing this and seeing the impact it has on everyone’s life, because his gift to the writing world is the equivalent of Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, because what he writes about is the human condition. He writes about the anti-hero, who is Troy, who is the center of his world and doesn’t know it. He writes about uplifting the average, that average man, the janitor at the McDonald’s, and he honors that life that, otherwise, would be invisible. I think people need to see that.

Absolutely. This is a year where Black women and Black girls are completely celebrated, I mean, everything from Serena [Williams] to Lupita [Nyong’o], et cetera, et cetera, and yourself, as well. Is there anything you would like to tell young women or young girls as a form of encouragement or advice?

Viola Davis: Yeah. You deserve it. That’s what, and you know, that’s a blanketed statement. However you interpret it, you deserve it. What kind of relationship? “Ah. This the kind of relationship I wa-.” Well, that’s because you deserve it. How do you see your life? What is your vision for your life? “Oh, it’s … My vision is this and that, but …” No, you deserve it. When you walk into a room, you’re pitching something, a idea to Hollywood, but “Ah. I don’t know if they’re gonna say …” You deserve it. You deserve it all. That’s what I will say to them.

Last but not least, I’m a comic nerd. I’ve seen you in DC Comics’ Suicide Squad.

Viola Davis: Yeah. Amanda Waller.

Do you have any tidbits you might want to share with us that may come to fruition later on?

Viola Davis: Absolutely not. I haven’t heard anything. All I [inaudible 00:02:36]. Listen. I had fun playing the bad woman.  I’m serious. I absolutely loved it. I thought it was a great exercise, and I love having that gun.