Viola Davis and Liam Neeson are ready to hit the big screen in the Steve McQueen directed piece called Widows. This is the follow up to his Academy Award nominated 12 Years A Slave, in Widows, Viola plays a grieving wife named Veronica Rawlings who has to go on a heist with a group of other widows to repay their husband’s debts when a gangster turned politician named Jamal Manning comes knocking at her door asking for his money that got robbed by their deceased husbands.
Sounds interesting right? I went to Chicago to sit down with Viola, Liam, Brian Tyree Henry, Cynthia Erivo and Michelle Rodriguez for this episode of Extra Butter with Xilla Valentine. The film is your classic tale of cops and robbers with a subplot of bad guys and gals fighting each other so it will be no surprise that this film has a lot of police interaction. I asked the cast about police brutality and Michelle Rodriguez opened up about losing a loved one to police violence in Jersey City, NJ.
“I’ve been exposed to a lot of police brutality growing up in Jersey City. The Latino community as well as the African American community we are in it together,” Michelle explained. “I’ve seen so much gnarly stuff happening growing up in jersey city I’ll give you one account. My God son’s uncle being killed by cops and they tried to hide it by taking the body from the actual hospital, removing his tongue in the morgue before his sister could go identify the body. This is the kind of stuff the cops do to cover themselves up.”
Liam chimed in as well, referencing the Laquan McDonald case where officer Jason Van Dyke, 40, was charged with murder acknowledging that these are sensitive times especially in Chicago where a young black man was shot 16 times.
Also on this episode of Extra Butter, Brian Tyree Henry and Cynthia Erivo talk about crafting great scenes with Viola Davis and Viola and Liam have some fun talking about washcloths a conversation that led to a hilarious moment.
Widows is in theaters everywhere this weekend 11/16.