Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis opened up recently to The New York Times about the “mammy-ish roles” she’s been asked to play in Hollywood.

Davis is the star of an upcoming drama series, “How to Get Away With Murder,” produced by Shonda Rhimes for ABC. She’ll play “Annalise Keating,” a law professor and defense attorney that Davis praises as a fully-formed character. The actress wasn’t so kind, however, in describing some of the roles she’s played in the past.

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“I have been given a lot of roles that are downtrodden, mammy-ish. A lot of lawyers or doctors who have names but absolutely no lives,” she told The Times. “You’re going to get your three or four scenes, you’re not going to be able to show what you can do. You’re going to get your little bitty paycheck, and then you’re going to be hungry for your next role, which is going to be absolutely the same. That’s the truth.”

“It’s what I’ve had my eye on for so long,” she said of her role as Keating. “It’s time for people to see us, people of color, for what we really are: complicated.”

“How to Get Away With Murder” premieres on ABC Sept. 25 at 10 EST.

Viola Davis Opens Up About ‘Mammy-ish’ Roles  was originally published on

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