Viola Davis thinks critics "serve no purpose".

Viola Davis has hit back at her critics

Viola Davis has hit back at her critics

The 56-year-old actress has received negative feedback about her portrayal of Michelle Obama in 'The First Lady' - but she admits that playing such a well-known public figure has been an "almost impossible" task.

She explained to the BBC: "Critics absolutely serve no purpose. 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 that 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."

Viola suggested she's in a no-win situation playing the former First Lady.

The Oscar-winning actress also sees criticism as an occupational hazard of her job.

She said: "How do you move on from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance."

Earlier this month, Viola revealed she found playing Obama to be "absolutely terrifying".

The acclaimed actress confessed that starring in the TV drama series was a nerve-wracking experience.

She shared: "You’re terrified whenever you start a job because you are afraid you are going to be found out - that’s big imposter syndrome. But with Michelle Obama, it’s like everyone has ownership over Michelle Obama.

"I mean, her book came out and it was [on every] bestseller list, everyone knows what she looks like what she sounds like, what her hair [is like], you know?"

Viola was also concerned about what Obama would think of her performance.

She said: "There’s a sort of sister bond there for me, you know that girl code like, I gotta make the sister look good.

"It’s all those things that you don’t think about as an actor [because] it has nothing to do with acting. When you play someone you don’t make any editorial comments about them, they are who they are, you don’t put it in any machine and water it down or make it reductive so, it was all the things that scare you."