Viola Davis is probably one of our most famous and respected actresses working today, but that does not mean she can escape any kind of negative criticism. The actress portrays former first lady Michelle Obama in the Showtime limited series The first lady and her attitude, especially the facial expressions she uses in her performance, has been evoked by critics on social media. What does Viola Davis think? Well, she’s getting pretty dull about the real purpose of critics working today.
During a recent BBC News interview, Davis admitted to being aware of some of the negativity. The actress calls it one “business risk” and went on to say, “It’s incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work. How do you recover from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything will be an award-winning achievement. ”
While some of the remakes may be hurtful, Davis also says one can not put too much emphasis on negative reviews. That’s when the actress gets a little dull about whether critics are really necessary because some use their position as an “opportunity to be cruel.”
“Critics serve absolutely no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be ugly either. They always feel like they’re telling you something you do not know. Somehow you live a life where you’re surrounded by people, lying 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. But in the end I feel it’s my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or lose, it’s my duty to do so. “
Davis has a bit of a bit, though I think some will call her to devalue someone else’s opinion of her performance. There is constructive criticism, and then there is just being directly evil, and I see a lot of the latter from some critics. It’s ok not to like something and it’s nice to say why, but once it gets personal, it becomes a completely different beast.
Davis admits that it was almost impossible to portray Michelle Obama because it was not so long ago that she was the first lady of the United States. There was more pressure on the actress to be more “accurate” because Michelle Obama continues to be an active presence in the media today. Davis also admits she did not speak to Michelle Obama about her performance and went on to say, “Either you do too much or not enough … I have no personal contact with Michelle Obama.”
In her defense, The first lady has received mostly mixed messages from critics and it has little to do with performance. The limited series documents the personal lives of three first ladies during different times in American history. Along with Viola Davis, who takes on Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer plays Betty Ford, while Gillian Anderson portrays Eleanor Roosevelt. As of this writing, the series is 43% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes with a 44% rotten audience score. Some call it second-rate television and superficial, but the performance of the lead roles, especially Pfeiffer, is praised. The series also stars Dakota Fanning, Lily Rabe, Regina Taylor, Aaron Eckhart, Charlie Plummer and Kiefer Sutherland.
Do YOU agree with Viola Davis’ assessment of critics?