Viola Davis was extremely nervous about her onscreen sex scene with Liam Neeson.
The 53-year-old actress opened up about filming a love scene with the Taken star for Steve McQueen’s movie Widows, which garnered rave reviews at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere earlier this month (Sep18).
And in a new interview, Viola admitted she was definitely not as relaxed about filming the bedroom scene as Liam was.
“It was absolutely terrifying, to tell you the truth,” she told Inquirer.net.
“He was cool. He was like, ‘OK, where do you want me to be? Do you want me to take my clothes off?’ He was very respectful, great, an elegant gentleman, everything you could possibly imagine,” she added praising her Northern Irish co-star.
In Widows, Viola plays Veronica, who leads a group of four women played by Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo, as they attempt a heist after their criminal husbands are killed after a robbery goes south.
However, the Oscar-winning actress has rarely had to disrobe in her movies, which meant she had to reveal quite a different side of herself onscreen.
“I am used to playing maids and drug addicts,” she laughed. “So it cost me something to be that vulnerable. You’ve seen a lot of sex scenes onscreen that have been way more graphic, but when I approach any kind of scene in that nature, it’s very private and you’re looking in on it.
“I was terrified and especially when you have cameras on you and Steve McQueen saying, ‘It’s got to be lustier! You have to open your mouths more!’”
Viola also shared that she often feels pressure to wear weaves and wigs to imitate mainstream beauty standards if she’s playing a romantic role. But Steve encouraged her to wear her natural hair.
“So there I was in bed with Liam Neeson, wearing my natural hair, being 53 and dark (skinned),” she continued. “It’s like what Steve said, ‘Viola, this woman exists. I see her all the time. In Europe, I see her in airports. I see her with a white husband who’s Irish, who’s whatever.
“She just hasn’t been introduced to the American cinema, so it’s about time we introduce her.”