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Oscar nominations 2012: Viola Davis talks Oscar nomination

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Viola Davis
Andrew Evans/PR Photos

Viola Davis was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar this morning for her work in The Help, but she’d like to spread out any words of congratulations. “It’s such an ensemble piece – you know, people forget in our business,” she tells EW. “It’s a collaborative art — you can’t create it in a room by yourself. It takes other actors, a director. It’s literally a boatload of artists [creating] a singular affect. That’s what we did. It was truly an ensemble.”

Perhaps that’s why the actress isn’t stacking herself up against her competition, which includes Doubt costar Meryl Streep, nominated for The Iron Lady.  “It would drive me crazy to think about that on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “Especially when you have a life — a husband, a kid, a life — to fill every day with. Who is going to win, how many votes will we get, and what do the pundits say, and where are we right now…  I can’t do it. I need my sanity.”

Like costar Octavia Spencer, Davis is disappointed that director Tate Taylor wasn’t nominated (“I’m a little surprised… [But] that’s the nature of competition, you know? [This is] different from football or baseball where it’s absolutely and exact science. This? It’s so subjective”), but is still proud of the team effort behind The Help. “We all knew it was really an important piece,” she says. “If you look at the landscape of what’s out there, there’s no other movie like it or looks like it. It truly is, I always say, an American movie.”

(Reporting by Sara Vilkomerson)

Read more:

Oscars 2012: Watch videos for this year’s nominees 

Oscars 2012: And the nominees are…

Oscars 2012: EW’s special coverage

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