Won’t Back Down is an uncompromising look at the health of American school systems, and what parents can do to effect change. But not everyone sees it that way — and protesters came out at Sunday night’s premiere to let the filmmakers, and the press, know how they feel. But star and Oscar-nominee Viola Davis, who dropped by the TODAY plaza Monday, says she wasn’t intimidated at all.

“I welcome protests,” she said. “I welcome discourse; I think discourse is a good thing. I think it spearheads change…. Andyou know what, in this movie, the teacher at the end of the day is the hero. They save the day. And it’s a system that’s broken, that needs to be fixed.”