Viola Davis has already gone on recent record expressing that her upcoming role as Amanda Waller, the titular team’s tenacious taskmaster in Suicide Squad was motivated by genuine fandom in the fantasy elements of the comic book world. Thus, it should come as no surprise that her latest comments seem to imply that she's using the role to channel some seriously adamantine attributes.
In a red carpet interview at the GLAAD Media Awards, Viola Davis told Comic Book Resources how she is approaching her rendition of the Amanda Waller character in Suicide Squad. Influenced by source material research, her approach is apparently one that would make her character Annalise Keating on How to Get Away with Muder look like a Girl Scout. According to Davis,
She’s unapologetic. Everything that I’m reading and studying about her: unapologetic, no humor, just brutal. That’s me! It’s my fantasy. Now, I would never do that in life, but when I get a gun on a set, it does something to me.
As Amanda Waller, Davis will be playing the tough, manipulative, pragmatic taskmaster of the Suicide Squad; a team of dangerous supervillains who have been captured and forced to carry out secret missions on behalf of the government with the "promise" of commuted sentences for their past crimes. Although their continued loyalty to the program is also enforced with the threat of detonating the micro-bombs that have been implanted in their heads. Essentially, this powerful, maniacal group are indentured servants, and Waller has them all in the palm of her hands. With that established, it becomes easy to see why an actress, especially of Viola Davis’ caliber, could become seriously immersed in the tough-as-nails antihero essence that the character imbues.
The character, who debuted in the comic books in the first issue of Legends back in 1986, is no stranger to the live-action arena, having been played by Angela Bassett in 2011’s Green Lantern, possibly to plant the seeds for that film’s never-realized franchise-launching potential. Waller is also currently a character on TV’s Arrow played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. While the former was portrayed as a "scientist" with a secret agenda, the latter was a closer depiction of a bureaucratic Waller’s ruthless, single-minded, seemingly amoral nature.
Davis' Amanda Waller could very well be the coldest, killingest, most calculating version of the character yet. She’ll need to be if she’s going to handle the leash for a team consisting of Deadshot (Will Smith), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Enchantress (Cara Delevigne) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), with Jared Leto’s Joker lurking about, waiting to cause carnage.
Suicide Squad looks to have Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller domesticate a rabid team of wild villains when it hits theaters on August 5, 2016.