Viola Davis has seen your tweets about her portrayal of Michelle Obama in the new Showtime series “The First Lady” – and she wants a word.
The Oscar winner strikes back at the response to her trip as the former FLOTUS in the anthology series, which follows the parallel lives of three women who left their mark on the White House: Obama, Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) .
Since the series ‘premiere earlier this month, viewers have mocked Davis’ performance as unnecessarily exaggerated, and many have expressed confusion over her decision to clenching her lips conspicuously in certain scenes.
The actor spoke to the BBC in an interview published on Monday, addressing the backlash for the first time, saying it is “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work.”
“Critics serve absolutely no purpose,” Davis told the BBC. “And I’m not saying that to be ugly either.”
“They always feel like they’re telling you something you do not know,” she continued. “Somehow you live a life where you are surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I want to be the person who leans in and tells you the truth.’ So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. ”
Davis, however, does not seem to regret that she signed on to the role, saying that “win or fail,” it is her “job as a leader to make bold choices.”
These choices have previously paid off for Davis, who is one of the few artists and the only black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award for acting, putting her within reach of the coveted EGOT status. .
Unlike Pfeiffer and Anderson, who have received markedly better reviews for their work in the Showtime series, Davis said portraying a modern political figure is an “almost impossible” challenge.
“Either you do too much or not enough,” she told the BBC, adding that she has not had “any personal contact with Michelle Obama,” who has not yet commented on the series.
“The First Lady,” which ends its 10-episode season in June, is just one of many current and upcoming projects for Davis, who also recently released his memoir, “Finding Me.”
She will next star in “The Woman King,” a historical epic inspired by true events in the Dahomey Kingdom, a former West African state in present-day Benin.
“How do you recover from the wound, from failure?” asked Davis rhetorically BBC. “But you have to. Not everything will be an award-winning achievement.”