Viola Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for supporting actress for 2009’s Doubt and for lead actress for 2012’s The Help. While she’s yet to bring home a gold statuette, she will undoubtedly be apart of the Oscar conversation again this year. It has been announced that Paramount will position Davis as a Best Supporting Actress contender for Fences, the highly anticipated August Wilson Pulitzer Prize-winning play adaptation she stars in alongside Denzel Washington. Davis won a Tony for the same role during Fences‘ 2010 Broadway revival and, based on the film’s trailer, looks to be giving the type of powerhouse performance that could walk away with the Oscar statue.
The decision to submit Davis for supporting Best Actress makes sense strategically as it will allow her to avoid the overcrowded Best Actress category inculding Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Amy Adams (Arrival, Nocturnal Animals) and Sonia Braga (Aquarius) among many other contenders including newcomer Ruth Negga, who is getting rave reviews for her performance in Loving.
Despite the competition in the Best Actress category this year, Davis still has to compete against a solid group of contenders in the supporting class which include Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Kristen Stewart (Certain Women, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Lupita Nyong’o (Queen of Katwe), and Naomie Harris (Moonlight). Point blank, it’s a great year for women in both leading and supporting roles, and we are certainly gearing up for one of the most exciting Best Actress races in years.
In addition to this new Oscar campaign, Davis recently signed an overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the agreement, she and her partner Julius Tennon will be developing new projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming services through their production company, JuVee Productions, for ABC Studios and its cable/digital division ABC Signature. She is also set star in Steve McQueen’s upcoming thriller Windows, and was most recently seen in the fantasy/crime thriller Suicide Squad.