Here’s The Movie Viola Davis Regrets, Despite an Oscar Nomination

Here’s The Movie Viola Davis Regrets, Despite an Oscar Nomination
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The nod from the Academy is still valid, though.


  • Viola Davies is an American actress and producer who made her breakthrough with 2008's Doubt.
  • Now with three Oscar nominations and one win under her belt, the actress admits that she doesn't like all of her projects equally.
  • One film that Davies regrets is The Help, even though it earned her a second nomination.

Sometimes there are things far more important than money or recognition, and no paycheck or award can help overcome the bitter feeling of betraying one's principles. While actors can technically choose which roles to take and when to walk away from a project they don't feel is worthy of them, sometimes they end up regretting what they've done.

Whether it's the problem in the script that wasn't there to begin with, or the weight of contractual obligations that won't let the actor back out of the shoot in the middle of it, some movies and TV shows end up being completely incompatible with what the actors stand for. Sometimes, though, it is just a matter of self-growth and reflection.

When Viola Davies starred in The Help, she thought the film would do more for the cause of racial equality than it actually did. Although the actress' performance was widely acclaimed, she admits she would not do The Help again.

Why Viola Davis Regrets The Help

Here’s The Movie Viola Davis Regrets, Despite an Oscar Nomination - image 1

Based on Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name, The Help is a historical drama that tells the story of a white journalist, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who decides to publish a book of interviews with her black friends to highlight the issues of systematic racism that these women face on a daily basis.

Viola Davies portrayed one of Eugenia's friends, Aibileen Clark, who works as a maid and also serves as the narrator of the story. In 2011, the actress was nominated by the Academy for Best Actress for her performance. However, despite the recognition the role brought her and the overwhelming praise of her skills, Davies admitted that she regrets the movie.

“Have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and The Help is on that list. <...> I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie,” she said.

Of course, as the movie's premise suggests, all the issues facing people of color are translated through the voice of a white journalist. While viewers have no reason to doubt Eugenia's best intentions, this adds layers and layers of censorship to real experiences that need to be shared.

If there's one big problem with The Help, it's that behind the best intentions, the film still pushes the same white savior trope and doesn't go all the way to actually tackle daring questions. Although it was highly praised in 2011, it doesn't live up to the standards of 2024.

However, if you are interested in seeing the film and making your own judgment, you can stream The Help on Hulu and Disney Plus.

Source: The New York Times