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Why Viola Davis Says Michelle Obama’s Time in the White

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Viola Davis realized the presidential treatment comes with a price.

The How to Get Away with Murder star said that while learning about Michelle Obama for her role in The First Lady, she saw how Michelle experienced a “very isolating journey.”

“She invited her mom to come live with her in the White House to help raise her children with her,” Viola told Entertainment Weekly. “So, I think that she kept her close as a way of always reminding herself what home is.”

The fact that Michelle entered the White House as the first Black First Lady added to the isolation, she said. “You’re walking into a house where most of the servants are Black with bowties and chaps,” Viola shared. “So, it’s a weird existential thing that you’re walking into where you need to find something familiar, something that grounds you, something that—once again—is home.”

Despite the isolation, Viola said she found joy in portraying the marriage of Michelle and President Barack Obama. From dancing around the White House to just having genuine fun together, she enjoyed the couple’s playfulness.

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