Blackfilm.com recently interviewed Viola Davis, who plays Major Anderson. The interview consisted of questions about her newly released movie “Won’t Back Down” and upcoming projects, including Ender’s Game. Though briefly mentioned, she is asked the big question every actor is presented with when they take up a role in a book-to-film adaption, “Did you get a chance to read [Ender's Game]?” It’s the one question every fan wants to hear the answer to and always the one of first priority. To my surprise (some of you may have already known this) but Viola Davis did not read the book Ender’s Game when filming nor has she done so after.
“In the book Major Anderson is actually a male. I just felt like this is a different character and I didn’t feel like I could learn anything from reading the book.” She goes on to say it wouldn’t be the same as if studying the psychological disorder of a character and that is was more valuable for her this way.
To some degree I agree with Mrs. Davis. Major Anderson has a small role in the book and with all film adaptions we are conscious that story lines, setting, plots and characters can change at different degree’s that only the director knows, so maybe this male to female switch doesn’t need the books story but a fresh compilation by the director and actor.
Here is a video of the interview with Viola Davis. To get straight to the Ender’s Game question you can forward to the 8:49 mark.