Video Interviews

Viola Davis and The Woman King Cast on Sisterhood and Redefining Black Women in Cinema

Rotten Tomatoes gets the behind-the-scenes story from Davis, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, John Boyega, and director Gina Prince-Bythewood.

by | September 14, 2022 | Comments

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Gina Prince-Bythewood says she knew she had to direct The Woman King within the first five minutes of reading the script. The film tells the story of the all-female Agojie army that protected the kingdom of Dahomey in early 19th century West Africa, and not only does it offer a look at a little-known chapter of history, but it also puts Black women at the center of a film in a way unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Ahead of its release, Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley sat down with Prince-Bythewood and stars Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, and John Boyega to break down their experiences on set and working with each other. Davis powerfully explains what the project meant to her, describing how much of what she was told as an actor and a Black woman “was a lie, and this is my redefinition of it.” Meanwhile, her co-stars talk about her generosity and the spirit of collaboration on set, particularly during the story’s most vulnerable moments and thrilling action set pieces.

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