Viola Davis responded to widespread criticism of her latest performance by saying that the critics “serve no purpose”.
The Academy Award-winning actor has received negative reviews from both critics and on social media for playing Michelle Obama on the Showtime series The First Lady. In an interview with BBCDavis described the response as “incredibly distressing.”
“The critics serve no purpose whatsoever,” she said. “And I don’t say it to be bad either. They always feel like they’re telling you something you don’t know. Somehow you live a life surrounded by people who lie to you and I’ll be the one to lean in and tell you the truth. So it gives them a chance to be tough with you.”
She said playing a widely familiar person like the former first lady was “almost impossible” and that you were “doing too much or not enough”.
The First Lady, who also stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson, was seen by many as an award-winning play, released in the final run of the Emmy award competition, with Inkoo Kang at The Washington Post. Criticizes Emmy-baiting shows.
Davis previously won an Emmy for her performance in the ABC thriller series How to Get Away with Murder.
The First Lady has a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Adrian Horton of The Guardian note “boring dialogue, choppy pace and parody performances” and Variety’s Caroline Framke writing that the actors “struggle to bring their characters back to a believable life”.
“How do you go from harm, from failure?” She said of the bad feedback. “But you must. Not everything will be worth the awards.” She also referred to criticism as an “occupational hazard”.
Davis won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in August Wilson, and was nominated for roles in Doubt, The Help, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She will then appear in the biopic The Woman King, a film she owns Referred to To be her “greatest”.
“Ultimately I feel my job as a leader is to make bold choices,” she said. “Win or fail, it’s my duty to do that.”
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