Viola Davis revealed many of her biggest hopes, dreams and fears to popular self-help and leadership author Brené Brown. Something else Davis mentioned in the interview, published by The Hollywood Reporter, is that some of her films, even films that are hugely successful, are films of which she’s not proud.
Davis revealed this when Brown asked her how she works on being transparent and honest with herself.
“The first part of my road trip was my family history. Being the child of an alcoholic. Coming from domestic violence. Coming from that level of trauma and recognizing that I was traumatized,” she said. “…The minute that I recognized that I suffer from anxiety and leftover residual trauma from my past experience, that it actually did hurt me, that was one big load lifted off.”
“…Then all of a sudden, now I am at a point in my career where I’ve always said, ‘As soon as I get to this part of my career, I’ve made it. I’m on Mount Everest,” she continued. “Then I got there. I had the Oscar, I have two Tonys, I have the Emmy, I have a big house, and still — bam — unfulfilling. Then I realized it’s because I’m not living for significance and legacy. And this is a big one, and this sort of hurts a little bit: I’m finally admitting to myself that a lot of the jobs I’ve taken in the past because I knew that they would further my career have been things that I have not been proud of. They put more money in the bank, they raised my status, but at night they keep me up.”
This is not the first time Davis has talked openly about her feelings about her career. In September, Davis revealed that she was no longer happy with her role in The Help. “I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” she said to The New York Times while at the Toronto International Film Festival for Widows. “I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. 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 this movie.”