Viola & Co. “Train like a Warrior” for “The Woman King”

Several things stand out in Viola Davis’ just published memoir, “Finding Me.”

She likes to eat, a product of a grueling food-deprived childhood. She’s never been afraid to work out, get in shape — or out of shape — for roles. That gets harder over time, and the Oscar winner’s on the backside of 50 these days.

And among the landmark events of her life was her first trip to Africa, as a college student, on an educational journey to The Gambia organized by a a dance teacher from North Carolina who wasn’t at Juilliard, which she attended in a graduate program.

An actress who grew up very sensitive about how “Black” she was found herself on a continent where she didn’t stand out, didn’t face an extra layer of discrimination from “fair skinned Black” people and didn’t have to do anything but soak up the culture, learn a little of the language, and dance.

Every time I see fierce “The Woman King” trailer I think about that. Here’s a vignette about Viola, “VAH-la,” as her mother called her, and her crew getting African warfare fit.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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