Viola Davis is one of the most acclaimed actresses working today, but even members of Hollywood royalty get critically eviscerated by media critics. Upon the release of her new Showtime series The First Lady, where Davis plays former First Lady Michelle Obama, her performance has been mocked online by some for her overuse of facial expressions such as pursed lips to resemble Obama.

Davis acknowledged in an interview with BBC News that “not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance,” but she also had some barbs ready for those who have been enthusiastically picking apart her acting.

“Critics serve absolutely no purpose,” Davis began bluntly. “And I’m not saying that to be nasty either. They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow, you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth.’ So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you.”

She also mentioned that playing someone as high-profile as Obama was “almost impossible,” from the get-go because “either you’re doing too much or not enough.”

Davis also spoke about her upcoming memoir Finding Me, which chronicles her childhood growing up in extreme poverty and sustaining sexual abuse. She has won multiple accolades for acting but said she could not “go to my grave,” just being known for her trophies. “I have the awards on my mantelpiece but I have to tell you that when I’m going through anything in my life, that don’t help me,” Davis said poignantly.

A trailer for The FIrst Lady is available below:

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