There is not doubt that Viola Davis is ready for her next project. The actress shared workout photo after shedding ‘Ma Rainey’ weight and she looks AMAZING. Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey aren’t the only actors who shape-shift for roles by gaining or losing a bunch of weight. Davis has been working hard with her trainer Gabriela Mclain to shed the weight she gained to play legendary blues singer Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, streaming now on Netflix. .
Davis looks toned and gorgeous while lifting 15-pound dumbbells in an all back fit. Davis credited her trainer in the caption and wrote, “Love my amazing trainer, @gabrielamclain! She played a major role in getting me back in shape after gaining weight to play #MaRainey 💛 #TBT.”
The Oscar award-winning actress got the attention of fans and celebs who praised her physique. Eva Longoria commented, “I mean can you look any more beautiful!!!” And Broad City’s Ilana Glazer wrote,”R U 25 🙃.” Beyonce’s mom Tina Knowles Lawson quoted her “Brown Skin Girl,” lyrics writing, “‘Skin just like pearls / the best thing in the world.’ gorgeous.”
Davis said she gained as much weight “as [she] could” to look like Rainey, for the film. “I didn’t want [Ma] to physically look like she was apologizing for herself. I wanted her to switch,” Viola told Zora. “If those breasts were hanging out like that? They just hung out. She was unapologetic about her sexuality. I just feel like in playing her, I had to honor that.” But, as Davis explained to the Toronto International Film Festival. “[the blues singer] was really big, close to 300 pounds. I got close to 200. Ann Roth, the great costume designer, she said, ‘Viola, what body do you want to look like?’ And the body that I loved — once again I grew up with a lot of big woman that I thought were the most beautiful woman in the word. So for me it was Aretha Franklin. I wanted that body.”
Davis continued, “What [Ann Roth] did was she got Aretha’s measurements and she made a fat suit based on Aretha’s measurements. That was Ma Rainey’s fat suit. I felt very sexy with that fat suit. You could tell Denzel was like, ‘You are loving that suit!” It’s not the first time Davis has fluctuated her weight for a role, according to Yahoo! News she had gone up for The Help and down for Get On Up.
In a recent interview with Women’s Health, Davis’s trainer said they have been training recently for Davis’s upcoming role in the historical action film The Woman King. They’ve been working to keep Davis’s body strong, but flexible “like a badass kind of Ninja” to portray Nanisca, the general of an all-female military unit in 18th-century Africa. Davis trains with Mclain about three days a week for one-hour sessions, doing strength training, core work, sculpting, cardio, and kickboxing. The kickboxing workout is a cardio dream. “We focus on burning fat and speeding up the metabolism, letting the blood flow, keeping the body agile, and warming it up for the week,” Mclain said. According to the outlet, “The routine includes punches with sidekicks, uppercuts, jabs, roundhouse kicks, culminating in a routine of 10 or so kickboxing moves. It‘s like Tabata, but more targeted.”
They usually begin around 6 a.m. “Most of the time it‘s a little cooler and the muscles are stiff and she may be working the night before,” Mclain explained. Every workout finishes with a few minutes of core training. “The abs are such a big muscle and there’s so many of them,” Mclain said. Davis cools down by stretching or using resistance bands.
Last year, Davis revealed she had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and told Everyday Health, “I was shocked because I always find myself exercising and eating right. I felt fantastic. But there you go. Blood doesn’t lie.”