Tag Archives Viola Davis

Viola Davis To Produce & Star In ‘The Fighting Shirley Chisholm’ For Amazon Studios

It’s only been a few days since the announcement was made that Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis signed a first look film deal with Amazon Studios through her production company JuVee Productions and the first project under that agreement has been unveiled.

Viola Davis is set to produce and star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). Davis will play the role of Chisolm.

According to Deadline, Amazon Studios acquired the title in what was described as a fierce bidding war. Homegrown Pictures’ Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People) and Mel Jones will be producing alongside JuVee Productions. Set to direct will be Novitiate‘s Maggie Betts with the screenplay written by Adam Countee.

Viola Davis is currently starring in the Steve McQueen directed screenplay Widows, as well as Amazon Studios’ Troupe Zero, alongside Alison Janney and Jim Gaffigan.

Viola Davis’ Production Company Signs First-Look Film Deal With Amazon Studios

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Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon have signed an exclusive first-look film deal with Amazon Studios through their production company, JuVee Productions. In an effort to produce creative and engaging content, Davis and Tennon’s partnership with Amazon is one of many that the retail giant and cloud services provider has made. Other deals include Get Out writer Jordan Peele and producer Jason Blum.

Although details regarding the deal have not yet been released, Amazon Studios executive Jennifer Salke said in a statement that the streaming platform “is passionate about building a home for both new and established filmmakers of all backgrounds, who share the same vision in telling incredible and engaging human stories.”

Salke also spoke about what makes JuVee Productions and Amazon Studios the perfect partnership.

“Viola and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions brings distinctive, fresh voices and high-quality content to our customers in both theaters and on Prime Video,” she said.

Viola Davis is no stranger to working with Amazon as she is currently working with the company on an upcoming comedy Troupe Zero, which co-stars Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan. The film will be released in 2019, according to Variety.

Viola Davis & Stephen Curry To Executive Produce Charleston Church Shooting Documentary

Actress Viola Davis and star athlete Stephen Curry are set to executive produce Emanuel, an upcoming documentary surrounding the shooting death of nine African Americans at a Charleston, South Carolina church.

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina where he opened fire on several innocent men and women, killing nine. Last year, Roof was sentenced to death for the crime.

Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions will partner with the city of Charleston and those affected by the tragedy. The film will feature exclusive interviews with survivors and the families of those who lost their lives.

“The documentary highlights how a horrible tragedy can bring a community together and spreads an important message about the power of forgiveness,” Curry said in a statement. “Stories like this are the reason we created Unanimous and entered the entertainment space. I hope the film inspires others like it does me.”

The Charleston massacre affected men and women of all races across the country. It goes to show that despite how far we’ve come, we still have a very long way to go.

“June 17, 2015 served as a stark reminder of the power of racism,” Viola Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions added. “We, along with the country, grieved each family’s loss. Yet, miraculously, from this devastation, we witnessed tremendous benchmarks of humanity. The survivors found the courage to love in the face of hate.”

Emanuel will premiere at DOC NYC on Nov. 14 and 15.

Lupita Nyong’o And Viola Davis To Star As Mother And Daughter In ‘The Woman King’

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Two of the most highly regarded actresses in Hollywood are finally joining the big screen together. Both Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o are set to star in The Woman King as mother and daughter in the powerful story of heroism and bravery.

The Woman King is based on true events told in an original story by Maria Bello.  The story draws inspiration from the Kingdom of Dahomey, a powerful African state during the 18th and 19th centuries. The story follows Nanisca, played by Davis, who is the general of an all woman military unit known as the amazons.  Her daughter Nawi, played by Nyong’o fought alongside her mother against the French and neighboring tribes who both threatened their world.

“‘The Woman King’ is the powerful true story of an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship,” said Hannah Minghella, president of TriStar Pictures. “And there’s no-one more extraordinary than Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o to bring them to life.”

TriStar Pictures acquired the rights to the story and the film will be produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions, and Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

Viola Davis Speaks Out About The Race And Gender Pay Bias In Hollywood

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Viola Davis is without a doubt one of the most talented on screen or on stage performers in Hollywood across the board, regardless of race or gender. Her career encompasses an impressive body of work and awards yet her paychecks do not reflect her greatness. Davis asserts she does not make the same amount or more than her white male and female counterparts despite having stronger star power.

Speaking out during an interview with Tina Brown at the Women in the World Los Angeles Salon, Viola Davis hits on everything from poverty and politics to true diversity in Hollywood. Davis continues her stand in solidarity with women while also calling out the unbalanced amount of white women and black women excelling and succeeding in all positions, not just acting.

“I have a career that’s probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale. They came out of Julliard, They came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet, I am nowhere near them–not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, no where close to it” says Davis.

Viola Davis’ career is decorated with Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, an Oscar and an historic Emmy when in 2015 she became the first black woman awarded this title. Her talent has starred in a variety of films, television shows and plays. Despite being a versatile A-List actress often reffered to as the black Meryl Streep, Davis asserts she is being paid less than what she deserves.

“You’re a black Meryl Streep… Well, then if there’s no one like me, you pay me what I’m worth.”

The plight of the black entertainer is riddled with racism and discrimination and black women in Hollywood have to go the extra mile to combat misogyny and gender disparities.  Viola Davis estimates that black women actresses get paid a tenth of their white female counterparts who are getting paid half of what men are receiving.

Watch the entire interview below:

Viola Davis “Is Done Pretending” Says The Saddest Part Is Sexual Misconduct In Hollywood Is Nothing New

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Yahoo! reports that in a powerful statement for Variety magazine, Viola Davis had a clear message for the predators of Hollywood who treat women’s bodies like “spoils of war”:

“The predator wants your silence. It feeds their power, entitlement AND they want it to feed your shame.”

“Our bodies are not the ‘spoils of war’… a trophy to be collected to fuel your ego. It’s OURS!!! It doesn’t belong to you!! And when you take it without permission, it DESTROYS…… like a virus!!!”

“To the predators.. Weinstein, the stranger, the relative, the boyfriend…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences.’ To the victims…. I see you. I believe you… and I’m listening.”

In addition, in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle at the L.A. launch for Vaseline’s Cocoa Radiant Body Butter, the brand ambassador revealed she’s tired of the shock value attached to this issue because it is nothing new or taboo:

“I’m sorry, sexual assault has affected women since the beginning of time. It just has. We know that. We sit with our girlfriends, we talk, we get something to drink, and everyone shares their story. Most women in my life, almost all of them, have been sexually assaulted. That’s just truth. I’m not saying anything that’s news.”

She shared that many of the social and emotional issues experienced by women in the industry are directly related to the culture in Hollywood:

“So I’m done with it! I really am. I’m done pretending. Done looking at all these women who lead their lives with body dysmorphic issues, suicide, depression, drug addiction, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, what’s wrong with them? What’s wrong with them?’ And it’s rooted in that silence of sexual assault and rape.”

Even though the Emmy and Oscar winner is thankful for her career and sucess, she still feels the film industry is limited for opportunities depending on how actresses portray themselves. She states there’s a “difference being A-list, 52-year-old black actress and A-list white actress” and because of the position she’s in she feels compelled to point out predators because she isn’t “falling from a really high space.” She explains:

“It’s not like I’m going to headline the next Spider-Man movie. I’m not rolling around in bed with Tom Cruise, so I’m not going to lose a $20 million endorsement and a $50 million beauty campaign. That’s just not my career”

“I understand you’re in fear of losing your career and all of that stuff, but at some point there’s something that’s gotta be bigger than you.”

Tracee Ellis Ross, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep & More Shine At The 2017 Golden Globes

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Last night marked the 74th annual Golden Globes Awards and another memorable show it was.

Folks like Tracee Ellis Ross, who has achieved so much in her career, won her very first Golden Globe last night for best actress in a TV show for her role on Blackish. Viola Davis took home the best supporting actress award for her incredible role in Fences, while her good friend Meryl Streep was honored with the highly praised Cecil B. Demille award for amazing work over her career.

Each of these three amazing women had powerful, and heartfelt speeches respectively.

Tracee took a moment to shout out all the amazing women out there, especially the women of color who’s storys and ideas aren’t always seen or heard. “We see you,” Tracee assures them.

Meryl’s speech took aim at our soon-to-be president, Donald Trump. She wasn’t “attacking” as the Donald thought, but she made it clear that she and everyone else around her must not stand for injustice and learn to treat people with dignity and respect.

With another year of the Globes in the books, take a look at some video footage from last night to re-live some of these amazing moments.

Viola Davis & Uzo Aduba Make History at This Year’s SAG Awards

Actresses Viola Davis and Uzo Aduba were honored with the outstanding lead drama actress and outstanding comedy actresses, respectively, at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on January 25th. This is the first year that both lead actress awards were given to African American women.

The SAG Awards acknowledges exceptional talent in film and primetime television. At the ceremony, Davis was acknowledged for her outstanding performance in How to Get Away With Murder. Aduba was recognized for her role in Orange is the New Blackmaking this her first-ever SAG award.

In her acceptance speech, Davis spoke on Hollywood’s lack of diversity and thanked Shonda Rhimes for creating this opportunity for her. “I’m so proud to be an actor and so happy to do what I do. And I’m so happy that people have accepted me in this role at this stage in my career.”

Check out the video below: