Viola Davis feels she's always been limited to very particular on-screen roles.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

The Academy Award-winning star - who appears in the new Steve McQueen-directed heist movie 'Widows - has claimed that in spite of being one of Hollywood's best-known actresses, she is rarely afforded the opportunity to play characters who are "motivated by love and grief".

Asked why she wanted to star in 'Widows', Viola - who has also won an Emmy and a Tony Award - told the Chicago Sun Times newspaper: "I was struck by the fact she had a husband that she loved.

"The fact she was motivated by love and grief - I have to say that I simply don't get those roles. I just don't, even after the Oscar."

Viola, 53, plays one of the women who tries to complete a heist their husbands failed to finish in the new movie.

Meanwhile, Viola recently admitted she regrets the way the characters in 'The Help' were portrayed.

The acclaimed actress - who played maid Aibileen Clark in the 2011 period drama - explained that while she enjoyed the experience on set, she wasn't pleased with the final film.

Responding to a fan's question, Viola confessed: "The friendships that I formed are ones that I'm going to have for the rest of my life. I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings. And I could not ask for a better collaborator than Tate Taylor.

"I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard ... I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie."