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Viola Davis Gets Candid About Hollywood Race Disparity In InStyle Interview

The actress wants the same meal her peers get, she told InStyle.

If you ever have the honour of having Viola Davis at your dinner table, you better serve filet mignon.

This fine dining rule is one the acting legend refuses to break, at least metaphorically: Davis used food to explain her views on the acting industry with InStyle magazine for their December cover story. Watch the video above to hear the highlights from her Q&A with the outlet’s editor-in-chief.

“My strength is my authenticity,” was the 55-year-old cover star’s tagline quote, one that is visibly apparent in the selection of stunningly bold suits and majestic updos she rocked for the magazine.

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InStyle Magazine December 2020

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But it also rings true throughout Davis’ profile, where she weaves connections between Black womanhood, her role in the upcoming blues drama, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” with the late Chadwick Boseman, and acting as both craft and profession.

The latter, she told InStyle, was structurally pitted against giving the same opportunities white people get to Black people. This inequality is prevalent in all facets of life, Davis noted, but in Hollywood it manifests in a way she wanted no part in, a fact she’s made clear to her agency and staff.

“I say this to them all the time, I say, ’I want and I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get. Cooked at the exact temperature. You can not throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that’s good enough for me,” she said. “I love my collard greens and all of that, and I know we were given the leftovers. I know how to cook that, but I want a filet mignon.”

Given the leading actor’s stellar track record in blockbusters, it’s safe to say she’s kept true to herself.

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