When Viola Davis was initially cast as sassy, ultra-faithful South Carolina housekeeper Amma in “Beautiful Creatures,” I initially had some concerns. Fortunately, so did Davis.
“I didn’t want to be in a movie placed in 2013, in the South, where I was a character in servitude. I think that that needs to be redefined,” Davis told me when we sat down last weekend.
Fortunately, the Amma in Richard LaGravenese’s adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s novel only has vestigial links to the original Amma and ultimately has much more in common with the book’s Marian Ashcroft, though she’s not exactly Marian either.
“I’m thankful it was a reimagining of a character,” the two-time Oscar nominee told me.
When I was on the “Beautiful Creatures” set last summer, Davis wasn’t able to talk to the small group of press, a product of a frenzied schedule that had her simultaneously going back and forth between production on “Beautiful Creatures” and “Ender’s Game.”
In our conversation, Davis remembers that frenzied production pace, discusses the pressures that either do or don’t come from being the first actor cast on a movie and talks about going back to her own roots to play this new version of Amma.
Check out the full interview above, especially if you want to hear Viola Davis say “ginormous.”
You can also watch my interview with “Beautiful Creatures” co-star Emmy Rossum and stick around over the next few days for a slew of additional interviews from the film.
“Beautiful Creatures” opens on February 14.