Article taken by People.

In their new dramaThe Unforgivable, the Oscar winners share a powerful scene together that touches on white privilege.

As star and producer of the new dramaThe Unforgivable,Sandra Bullockwas an integral part of the films casting process and happily admits that she and her fellow producers chased afterViola Davisfor a small but pivotal role in the film.

When you ask someone of Violas stature to do something that could ostensibly feel like a cameo, it is because the only person who can do that and have that impact is Viola, Bullock tells PEOPLE in this weeks issue. And then youre stuck with Viola in your head and you think We will never get her.’

But they did. In the film, directed by Nora Fingscheidt and based on the 2009 British miniseriesUnforgiven, Bullock, 57, plays Ruth Slater, a convicted murderer released from prison after serving 20 years. Davis, 56, plays Liz Ingram, a woman now living in Ruths childhood home with her husband and two sons. Bullock and Davis big scene together isteased in the trailer, in which Liz confronts Ruth about her privilege, shouting You arenot a victim!

Without giving anything away, the two Oscar-winning women, who first met and worked together on 2011sExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close, discussed the impact of working on and filming that particular scene in a collaborative way.

I feel the catharsis in any scene is the truth of it, says Davis. The deeper you dive and the more honestly you dive, then the catharsis is that you left it all on the floor. And that was the beauty of this. But heres the thing, this job came during the pandemic, during [protests over the killings of] George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, all of that had exploded. All of a sudden these conversations started to be had which werent taking place before. So this was a huge opportunity to bring my whole self to the role, my Black self, my female self, every part of me, to this role. And I believe that it benefited the material. Thats what all of those big things were about. And the beauty of it is, I will say it, is the bravery of Sandra, the bravery that she was not afraid of that because a lot of times Hollywood, they dont want that aspect.

Davis calls Bullock the ultimate collaborator.

This is the first time that I was able to really work with someone who is collaborative to this extent, she says. And that is a character trait that no one talks about with artists. And Ill tell you what the character trait is. Its courage. Its courage to have those hard conversations in the room. And I thought we had some of those.

One thousand percent. God, yes, agrees Bullock. I go back to, why do you chase after Viola Davis [for the role]? The filmmakers, the writers, the director, and Violas costar me wanted to have that conversation shes talking about. No person of color wouldve gotten out of jail after 20 years for killing an officer. And you were talking to a white woman whose son is Black and in all my whiteness, I cannot protect him the second he leaves my house. When hes no longer the cutest baby in the world to anyone else other than me, what do you do for your child? Viola has lived through it. Her mother has lived through it. Her grandmother has lived through it. The emotion [of that scene], you feel as a human being.

And how do both artists who are also mothers (Bullock is mom to son Louis, 11, and daughter Laila, 4, and Davis to daughter Genesis, 11) move forward in the world carrying that weight?

Its a larger conversation, I could go on for hours, says Davis. But people need to have those hard conversations and come to some understanding. One thing with our profession that happens is every time an artist of color does anything, they are asked every single question about race. Are things moving forward? What happened with Black Lives Matter? But no one ever asks white artists those questions. Now, Sandra has African American children. Shes in a movie with me, but for the most part, white directors, white studio heads, white actors, theyre never asked those questions. People who are in the position of power never get put to task.

Bullock says she is not afraid to be taken to task and wants to continue having tough conversations.

In the movie, you see that one person can have a butterfly effect on so many peoples lives, positively, negatively. We see it over centuries and generations, says the actress. But its not Violas job to educate. [People of color] have carried that pain. So how about we as a community take on the education, ask the questions, learn, read, understand? Im sorry tomorrow for what I didnt know yesterday. Im not afraid to be taken to task, Im not afraid to have my privilege pointed out, but Im going to keep having the conversation and not being scared. Im not afraid to have a conversation.

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