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Viola Davis Recalls Black Actors Saying She Wasn’t Pretty Enough For Her Role In ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

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Viola Davis Recalls Black Actors Saying She Wasn't Pretty Enough For Her Role In 'How To Get Away With Murder'

“Casting Directors Said I Wasn’t ‘Classically Beautiful’ Enough to Play Romantic Lead” – Viola Davis

Award-winning actress Viola Davis has blessed us with her great talent for years. While many of us love seeing her beauty and work on our screens, the star is sharing how she had to fight for her much-deserved spotlight and how she had to push through harsh criticism when it came to her physical appearance.

In a lengthy New York Times interview ahead of the release of her new book, “Finding Me: A Memoir,” which is out on April 26, the history-making Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winner recalled the time when the industry didn’t think she was pretty enough to portray criminal defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating on the hit series “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Davis revealed that following her casting, a friend had come to her after overhearing several actors and actresses — all of whom were Black — say that “she wasn’t pretty enough to pull it off,” according to the Times.

While she has unfortunately experienced racism and colorism before, she explained that moment was something she just “couldn’t shake.”

According to Davis, casting directors thought she was “too dark” and “not classically beautiful” enough to lead a romance film.

Despite that, Davis went on to win an Emmy and SAG Award for the series and as the publication notes, it was her idea to write the memorable “Murder” scene where her character takes off her makeup and wig to show the complicated side of her character Annalise:




“The TV and film business is saturated with people who think they’re writing something human when it’s really a gimmick,” Davis wrote in her memoir. “But if I took the wig off in a brutal, private moment and took off the makeup, it would force them to write for THAT woman.”

 

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