‘The Help’s’ Viola Davis Modeled Role After Mom

Viola Davis


The Help is garnering rave reviews and exceeding expectations at the box office. If you haven’t seen the film, you should check it out while it’s still in theaters. Critics are praising it for strong performances by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, David Oyelowo, and Aunjanue Ellis.

Davis sat down with CBS to discuss the reaction to the film since it’s release on Aug. 10. In the interview, the actress revealed where she drew inspiration to play such a passionate character. She cited her mother, who grew up on Singleton Plantation in South Carolina, and worked many years as a maid. “I modeled the character after her,” Davis said. “There’s so many black women who led such hard lives, but still had so much joy and compassion and love in their hearts.

When asked about the responsibilities of taking on such a big role, the Oscar-nominated movie star revealed it was a lot of pressure on her. “I want to rename the movie ‘The Pressure Cooker’ because so many people have read [the book], so many people have grown up with these surrogate mothers and there was a huge pressure with the African American community, because I was playing a maid in 2011,” Davis explained. “There’s so much stigma attached to playing a maid in movies.”

Watch the full interview below:


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