Viola Davis: How did you become an Agojie warrior?

In the film “The Woman King” Viola Davis, the winner of the Oscar and a Tony, faced the most challenging role of her career, she played Nanisca, the general of an all-female army called the Agojie.

In her performance as Nanisca, Davis, 56, displayed all of her histrionic talents and also involved arduous physical preparation to transform into an empowered warrior.

To cover the physical aspect of the character, Davis he trained with weights for an hour and a halffive days a week, after each session he did more than two hours of Martial Arts.

“(…) East training with weights it was especially hard; everyone wanted me to look ultra strong. And later I learned to fight hand-to-hand and to use the machete, because it represents Nanisca’s main weapon,” Davis said.

Before the shooting of the movieavailable in local theaters , the actress suffered a ligament tearhowever, did not limit her during training, although she acknowledged that her arm did suffer from the turns with the machete.

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Like all the stars HollywoodDavis had a stunt double for certain things, but proud of herself, she assured that 95% of the scenes were done by her.

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“In my case, the physical was the hardest, but all this is nothing more than semantics. Because the dialect, the acting, the shooting in Africaall of this was tremendous. It was one of those roles where every aspect of the character had to work 100 percent. But, yes, of course, the physical aspect was really difficult, “he acknowledged. ‘

‘La Mujer Rey’ tells the true story of the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful African states throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.

Prior to “The Woman King”a film in which the actress is also a producer, Davis knew very little about the Agojie warriorsThey were a mystery to her. “Like something you’ve heard from afar, but hadn’t really researched before getting down to business with the movie,” she said.


Nanisca encapsulated Davis, the role told her many things on a personal level: “(…) as a black woman and in terms of exploring each of my aspects: my strength, my vulnerability, my history, my femininity, my disasters …”.

“And the project attracted me because I am someone who goes through life looking for self management. I want my identity to have little to do with how white Hollywood identifies me. I want my own identity. And this project allowed me to uplift other black women as well, it allowed me to shed light on their talent and their gifts, on a part of our story that had never been told, that very few knew about,” she said.

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