Since Viola Davis‘s breakout role playing Mrs. Miller in the 2008 film Doubt, she’s continued to star in many more films that have made her an award-winning and coveted Hollywood actress. But when Viola, 53, thinks about some of the movies she’s worked on in the past, she admits she has some regrets — including her involvement in the 2011 historic flick The Help.
“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” Viola recently revealed to The New York Times about her role as Aibileen Clark in the film. The movie — which also stars Octavia Spencer as a 1960’s southern housemaid named Minny Jackson — tells the story of the hardships black women working as maids endured during the civil rights movement in Mississippi.
“I know Aibileen. I know Minny [Jackson]. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom,” Viola continued about her and Octavia’s characters. “And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, 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.”
Viola still had a great experience filming the movie and loved working with her co-stars, including Octavia, Emma Stone, and Jessica Chastain. “The friendships that I formed are ones that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings,” she shared.
Although Viola felt as if The Help‘s story could have been told differently, she still won a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, a Best Actress award from the African-American Film Critics Association and a Best Actress award from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists for portraying Aibileen in the movie.