Viola Davis: My skin colour put limitations on my career

Viola Davis covers Harper's Bazaar credit:Bang Showbiz
Viola Davis covers Harper's Bazaar credit:Bang Showbiz

Viola Davis' career was "limited" by her skin colour in the early days.

The 57-year-old actress started out in the industry in the late 1990s and explained that there is a "deficit" of stories about black women and often found herself playing supporting characters because Hollywood has failed to "dig deep" into her culture.

She said: "There is a deficit of stories that women of colour are able to access in Hollywood. When I started off as an actor, the scope of what I wanted to do was infinite. It was definitely a big blow to see the limitations put on me in my career.

"You’re just there to give the white lead advice, to be the sage, to be the nurturer. There is a lack of really digging deep into who we are."

Meanwhile, the Academy Award-winning star received the Icon award at the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2022 on Thursday (10.11.22) and explained that the honour has become "embedded in [her] spirit and she will use it to help progression in showbusiness.

She told Britain's Harpers' Bazaar magazine: "When I’m at home I don’t feel like an icon. I’m always looking at little Viola who wet the bed and was just trying to find a meal every day and thinking, 'OK, now I’m an icon?' I don’t take the honour and run off the stage with it. It’s embedded in my spirit and I use it as warrior fuel to shift the industry so that I’m not the only one any more."

The December/January issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from 11 November. Visit https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/violadavis for more.