TIFF: Love and Thank-You’s for Viola Davis at Emotional ‘The Woman King’ Premiere

The Woman King premiered Sept. 9 at the Toronto International Film Festival. In Roy Thomson Hall, "Thank you, Viola" was heard often.

"I want to do for young black girls what Miss [Cecily] Tyson did for me at 7." "She was the dream's corporeal expression, and she appeared on a

broken TV in a Rhode Island apartment. She gave me something indescribable." 
The Sony film chronicles the Agojie, an all-female army in

Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. General Nanisca (Davis) must train new warriors to battle an enemy.

The audience cheered Davis and co-stars Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, and Thuso Mbedu as they swung machetes and spears.

John Boyega praised Davis onstage, saying he didn't recognise the face of his career when he got the Woman King email.

. I didn't understand acting and wasn't as passionate about it. Lynch thanked Gina Prince-Bythewood for seeing portions of her that other directors hadn't. Rarely. "