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.

Read the full article/interview in our press archive.

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