Viola Davis: Young actors need to work hard
Viola Davis has slammed the ''entitlement'' of young actors who expect to be superstars overnight.
Davis can't understand why aspiring thespians turn down roles because they are not their ideal projects, insisting they should accept everything while honing their craft as they will never be ''superstars'' without a body of work behind them.
Asked what advice she'd give aspiring actors, she said: ''The first thing I want to tell them is it's a hard balance to do this now. To dream big, but also to be realistic. I think that what young people do is entitlement. I'm sorry, I will say it and I know this is horrible, but I don't understand people who turn down work who haven't done anything.... ''I don't understand actors who want to be Denzel [Washington] and they haven't even been out there for a year. They have nothing on their résumé. I don't get it.
''I have a 30-year career. This show has come to me after being on Broadway three times. I don't know how many plays I've done regionally. I don't know how many TV shows and movies I've done. I've lost track. ''Work begets work. That's how producers choose how to hire you. If you have nothing there, they're like, 'OK, I don't know who that is.' And I get so many young actors who want to be superstars from the very beginning. They want to get that Oscar straight out of the gate and they want to be on the A-list and that's it.''
The 50-year-old star also admitted she looks for roles where there is a possibility to ''fail greatly'' because she wants to be ''bold'' and prove herself to be ''great''. Asked what roles she is interested in, she told the Vulture TV Podcast: ''Anything that's tremendous and big and bold. Anything where I can fail greatly I would love to do because here's the thing, and this is where I show my shortcoming - I've always wanted to be great.
''I've always wanted to be really good at what I did. ''I want to do something big. And I could really stink at it, but at least I know I did it, and I'll be a better actor for it afterward. ''Other actors know what I mean when I say that. You're a better actor after you've done a really big thing and you've screwed it up. But at least it was bold.''