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16 Jan

Viola Davis Responds To Criticism Of Her ‘The First

Viola Davis has heard the critics, but she’s not letting the memes or Twitter threads get her down.

Amid a slew of fan and critic responses to her starring role in Showtime’s biopic limited series The First Lady, Davis says that it’s unattainable to please everyone with every role she takes on.

Davis portrayed First Lady Michelle Obama within the series, which recounted American history through the perspectives of three separate first ladies during their tenures in The White House.

Davis’ portrayal stood out to fans, who noted the emphasis the actress placed on Obama’s speech pattern while embodying the role.

But Davis sees no use for dwelling on what she describes as “cruel” responses to her work.

Viola Davis Responds To Criticism Of Her ‘The First Lady’ Performance
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 10: EP/Actor Viola Davis from Showtime’s ‘The First Lady’ attends Deadline Contenders Television at Paramount Studios on April 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood )

“[It’s] incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work,” Davis told BBC during an interview. “How do you progress on from the hurt, from failure? But you may have to. Not the whole lot goes to be an awards-worthy performance.”

Davis acknowledged that though harsh criticism isn’t fun to listen to, it’s an “occupational hazard” actors simply should cope with.

“Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty either,” she continued.

“They at all times feel like they’re telling you something that you simply don’t know. By some means that you simply’re living a life where you’re surrounded by individuals who misinform you and ‘I’m going to be the person who leans in and tells you the reality’. So it gives them a possibility to be cruel to you.”

Still, Davis stands by the creative selections she made in taking up the role of First Lady Obama.

Viola Davis Responds To Criticism Of Her ‘The First Lady’ Performance
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 14: (L-R) Viola Davis, Gillian Anderson and Michelle Pfeiffer arrive at Showtime’s FYC event and premiere for ‘The First Lady’ at DGA Theater Complex on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/WireImage)

“But ultimately, I feel prefer it is my job as a frontrunner to make daring selections. Win or fail, it’s my duty to do this.”

As for Obama’s personal opinion on her performance, Davis says she hasn’t spoken directly together with her in any respect. But she acknowledges that playing such a distinguished living public figure to everyone’s satisfaction was “almost unattainable,” and was at all times going to illicit some type of response that she didn’t do the role its best justice, on one end of the spectrum or the opposite.

“Either you’re doing an excessive amount of or not enough.”

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