Viola Davis explains why this one scene in Widows is so important


In discussing her new film Widows, Viola Davis explains why a particular scene is such an important moment for representation.

A video clip of Viola Davis discussing her role in Widows has been making the rounds on the internet. Davis, an Oscar-winning actress known for roles in The Help and How to Get Away With Murder, stars in the film adaptation of a 1980s series. The story focuses on a group of widows who work together to pull off a heist their husbands had planned before they were killed.

In an interview with the BBC, Davis spoke about one particular scene and why it is such an important moment. Even though the scene is small and might not be a scene many people would pick out as essential, she explains its value when it comes to representation.

Near the beginning of the movie, Davis’ character Veronica is in bed with her husband, Harry, showing audiences love between a black woman and a white man in a way that is rarely explored in Hollywood.

“The film begins with me in bed with Liam Neeson, and we’re kissing, and it’s a sexualised kiss. Here I am, I’m dark, I’m 53, I’m in my natural hair… and I’m with Liam Neeson. I’m with what America would consider to be a ‘hunk’,” Davis says of the scene.

She continues by noting that the two characters are on equal footing.

“He’s not my slave owner. I’m not a prostitute. It’s not trying to make any social or political statements. We’re simply a couple in love. And what struck me in the narrative is that I’d never seen it before. And you’re not gonna see it this year, you’re not going to see it next year, you’re not going to see it the year after that.”

While this seems like such a small moment that should be quite commonplace in movies these days, as Davis states, it isn’t. The U.S. census notes a growing rate of mixed marriages and relationships, but we rarely see film and television portray those relationships with no strings, or cliche stories, attached. It was only decades ago that the Motion Picture Production Code forbid interracial relationships from being depicted in entertainment.

Davis shares that most critics may not think this moment is important or any sort of political statement, but we know better.

“So if it’s not making anything, then why isn’t it done?… If it’s not a big deal? Why hasn’t it been done? Sometimes I feel like the biggest political statements are the simplest.”

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Viola Davis is known for her work in Hollywood promoting more diversity and representation. With clip above having received over 130,000 likes and retweets on Twitter, it’s safe to say she’s right — and we’re more than ready for more scenes like the ones Widow features.