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'Woman King,' Viola Davis And the Culmination of a Struggle

From left, Cathy Schulman, one of the producers of "The Woman King," cast members Lashana Lynch and Viola Davis, and director Gina Prince-Blythewood pose together for a portrait at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, during the Toronto International Film Festival, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
From left, Cathy Schulman, one of the producers of "The Woman King," cast members Lashana Lynch and Viola Davis, and director Gina Prince-Blythewood pose together for a portrait at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, during the Toronto International Film Festival, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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Toronto (AP) -- When Viola Davis, sculpted and hardened from months of training, first stood in the full garb of the Agojie warrior women, with her bare feet in the African sand, it was the culmination of not just the years-long push to make “The Woman King,” but of a lifelong battle.

“It was sort of metaphoric to not just everything I had done to prepare for this role but everything that I had done as a Black woman to prepare for this moment,” Davis says. “Which is to be a warrior.”