Viola Davis is a vision of beauty and grace on the September cover of Elle Brasil. The Woman King star dons a statement headpiece by Cecilio Castrillo in stunning images by Marcos Florentino + Kelvin Yule.
Davis is promoting her critically-acclaimed role in The Woman King as General Nanisca. The Woman King, released today in theaters, is an epic tale about the Agojie, an all-women militia who guard the African kingdom of Dahomey.
We recently spoke to Babalwa Mtshiselwa, who did makeup and prosthetics for The Women King. “A major thing for me was to make sure everyone looked completely natural but really beautiful and flawless. The second thing was to honor the fact that the women were warriors had battle scars, and they were proud of every scar they got from battle and from training,” said Mtshiselwa.
When it came to creating their battle wear, costume designer Gersha Phillips, revealed,
“We came up with a battle uniform based on several different things. One is the baggy African pant. And then, they would bind their chest and carry cross straps on their bodies. This is how they carried their weapons. So, this is how we came up with the halter idea. We also had tunics made authentically ish. We had fabrics woven in northern Ghana. Then we layered them to create a tight bodice and let the bottom hang to create a skirt.”
Viola and her badass tribe of women warriors recently covered Essence Magazine’s digital issue where they opened up about the magnitude of the film.
“Sometimes you’re in a project that’s bigger than you,” Davis told Essence. “You’re not thinking about box office. You’re not thinking about success. You’re thinking about transcendence.”
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King is being hailed as a tour de force and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.