VIOLA DAVIS (Major Gwen Anderson) is a critically revered award winning actress of film, television and
theater known for her intriguingly diverse roles.
In November 2013, Davis will reteam with Tate Taylor (The Help) to begin production on the James Brown
biopic Get on Up. Universal Pictures will release the film on October 17, 2014. Chadwick Boseman has been
tapped to play The Godfather of Soul, as the pic charts a young boy's rise from extreme poverty and violence to
become one of the most influential black artists in history.
Most recently, Davis finished production on Michael Mann's untitled feature film for Legendary Pictures.
Written by Morgan Davis Foehl and Michael Mann, the story will center on cyber-theft and cyber-attacks. The film
also stars Chris Hemsworth, Tang Wei and Wang Leehom and is slated for release in 2014.
Davis can currently be seen in the thriller Prisoners, in which she co-stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh
Jackman and Paul Dano. The Denis Villeneuve's directed film revolves around a small-town carpenter named
'Keller' (Jackman), whose young daughter and best friend are kidnapped. Alcon Entertainment and Warner
Brothers released this film on September 20, 2013.
In September 2013, Davis starred alongside Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy inThe Disappearance of
Eleanor Rigby. The story written and directed by Ned Benson follows a New York City wife surprising her
restaurateur husband with the decision to return to college. There are two films (His and Hers), told from the point
of view the husband and the wife. William Hurt and Bill Hader also star. This film premiered at the Toronto
International Film Festival on Septemeber 9, 2013. Myriad Pictures and Unison Films produced and The Weinstein
Company acquired the film rights at the festival.
In February 2013, Davis starred opposite Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons in Beautiful Creatures. The
Richard LaGravenese-penned adaptation of the Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia novel follows two teens who must
confront a curse that has haunted the girl's family for generations. Davis plays 'Amma,' a librarian and friend of the
teenage boy's deceased mother who loves him like a son and will do whatever she can to protect him. Warner
Brothers and Alcon are producing. The film was released on February 14, 2013.
In 2012, Viola and her husband Julius Tennon founded a multi-ethnic production company, JuVee
Productions, committed to excellence in film, television, and theatre. As their first project, they have optioned the
rights to Ann Weisgarber's 2008 book The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. DuPree, a fictional early 20th-
century Chicagoan leaves home to become a rancher's wife in South Dakota's Badlands. The neighboring white
settlers rely on each other during 1917's crippling summer drought, but the pregnant DuPree is isolated by both
race and geography. The story focuses on her struggle to survive and provide for her family, but also examines the
harsh racial struggles facing the rarely-explored lives of black pioneers.
On September 28, 2012, Davis starred alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter in the feature film
Won't Back Down for director Daniel Barnz. The film focused on two women (Davis and Gyllenhaal) who are
compelled to help make a difference at a local school. Walden Media produced the project and Fox released the
Davis costarred with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in the Stephen Daldry picture Extremely Loud &
Incredibly Close. This film tells the story about a boy in search of a mysterious key left by his father when he was
killed in the September 11th attacks. Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures released the film on January 20,
In August 2011, Davis captivated audiences and critics alike with her portrayal of 'Aibileen Clark.' Set in
Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960's, The Help chronicles the relationship between three different and
extraordinary women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules
and puts them all at risk. Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer also star. Davis earned a Screen
Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performances by a Female in a Leading Role" and a Critics' Choice Award for
"Best Actress" for her performance as 'Aibileen Clark'. She was also nominated for Academy Award, Golden
Globe Award and British Academy Film Award. The film won a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding
Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" and a Critics' Choice Award for "Best Acting Ensemble."
In 2010, Davis returned to Broadway in the highly anticipated revival of August Wilson's "Fences,"
alongside Denzel Washington. Davis' portrayal of 'Rose Maxson' garnered her a Tony Award, as well as Drama
Critics' Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. "Fences" was also honored with the Tony
Award for "Best Play Revival" and was the most profitable theatre production of the year.
Also in 2010, Davis was seen in a six-episode arc in Showtime's hit series "United States of Tara," written
by Academy-Award winner Diablo Cody. Davis portrays 'Lynda P. Frazier,' a wildly eccentric artist and friend to
'Tara' (Toni Collette). The second season premiered on March 22.
On June 25, 2010, Davis appeared in the 20th Century Fox action-comedy Knight and Day, directed by
James Mangold. The film centers around a fugitive couple (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) on a glamorous and
sometimes deadly adventure across the globe. Following "Knight and Day," on August 13, 2010, Davis was seen
opposite Julia Roberts in the Sony Pictures film Eat, Pray, Love in which she plays Roberts' best friend in the role of
'Delia.' On October 8, 2010, Davis starred alongside Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham and Zach Galifianakis in the
Focus Features' drama, It's Kind of a Funny Story.
In 2008, Davis starred in the critically revered film Doubt, based on the Tony Award winning play, where
she portrayed 'Mrs. Miller,' the mother of a young boy who piques the fascination of a Catholic priest. Davis
shares the screen alongside Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Davis was nominated for a
Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actress." The
National Board of Review recognized Davis with the Breakthrough Award and she was also honored by the Santa
Barbara Film Festival as a Virtuoso.
That same year, Davis shared the big screen with Diane Lane, Richard Gere and James Franco in the drama
Nights in Rodanthe, directed by George C. Wolfe. Based on the novel of the same name, the film centers around a
woman (Lane) who retreats to the tiny North Carolina coastal town of Rodanthe to watch over a friend's (Davis)
inn for the weekend. There she meets a male guest (Gere) who is seeking shelter from a pending storm and their
lives subsequently begin to intertwine. The film was released by Warner Brothers on September 26, 2008.
Additional film credits include the highly revered drama Antione Fisher, where her performance earned
her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female, in addition to appearances in the feature films
Madea Goes to Jail, State of Play and Law Abiding Citizen; a supporting role in Disturbia, starring Shia LeBeouf for
director D.J. Caruso. Davis was also seen in the independent film, The Architect, opposite Anthony LaPaglia; Jim
Sheridan's Get Rich or Die Tryin', opposite 50 Cent; Syriana, starring George Clooney, directed by Stephen Gaghan
and produced by Steven Soderbergh (Davis' fourth collaboration with the Oscar winning director); Far from
Heaven with Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore; Solaris, Traffic and Out of Sight.
Davis' television credits include a co-starring role in the A&E mini-series "The Andromeda Strain" with a
cast that includes Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack and Rick Schroeder; a recurring role on "Law & Order: SVU;" a
recurring role in the CBS mini-series franchise "Jesse Stone" opposite Tom Selleck; a starring role as 'Diane Barrino'
in "Life is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story" for Lifetime; a starring role in ABC's "Traveler" playing Agent
Jan Marlow; CBS' "Century City," "Lefty," and the Steven Bochco series, "City of Angels." Additionally, she had
roles in Oprah Winfrey's "Amy and Isabelle," and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Grace and Glorie."
In 2004, Davis lit up the stage in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Lynn Nottage's play,
"Intimate Apparel" directed by Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan. She garnered the highest honors for
an off-Broadway play, including "Best Actress" awards from the Drama Desk, the Drama League, the Obie and the
Audelco Award. Davis was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award as well. She reprised her role at the Mark Taper
Forum in Los Angeles where she was recognized with the Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics and the Garland
Awards. In 2001, Davis was awarded a Tony for "Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play" for her
portrayal of Tonya in "King Hedley II." She commanded the attention of critics and audiences alike for her portrayal
of "Tonya," a 35-year old woman who is forced to fight for the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Davis also
received a Drama Desk Award in recognition of her work.
Davis is a graduate of The Julliard School and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree from her
alma mater, Rhode Island College.
Davis resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.