Smile of the Week – We Listen to Viola Davis
Not many celebrities are influencers who find themselves blessed with a beautiful smile and a knack for giving awesome speeches, which makes Viola Davis a treasure. Indeed, when she speaks, whether as a TV or film character, granting interviews, or accepting awards, we listen to Viola Davis.
Here are the top reasons why we listen to Viola Davis:
1. She’s the real deal 21st-century leading lady.
Who doesn’t listen to someone who’s been recognized for what she does, right? As of this writing, Viola Davis has won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and two Tony Awards in the acting categories – or as they say, the Triple Crown of Acting. And, she is the only African-American performer who has earned this achievement.
Specifically, Davis has won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play (King Hedley II), the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Fences), the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (How to Get Away with Murder), and her more recent win at the 2017 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Fences).
In addition to the 2017 Oscars win, her reprisal of the role of Rose Maxson for the film adaptation of Fences, also earned Davis her first wins for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and various other awards.
“Acting is not rocket science, but it is an art form. What you are doing is illuminating humanity.” (Viola Davis)
She is also the first African-American actress and the first woman of color to win five SAG Awards. She is currently the most nominated black actress in history, with a notably extensive list of nominations and awards for her work in theatre, television, and film. Not surprising for one who loves acting and is truly dedicated to her craft.
Her professionalism and positivity as an artist is attested by her colleagues. Pete Nowalk, creator and showrunner of How to Get Away With Murder where Davis plays the role of Annalise Keating, shares how Davis as an actress makes the audience “feel connected to other people in the world.” Shonda Rhimes, the executive producer of HTGAWM, talks about how it feels like to work with the award-winning actress.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by her. The level of work, the game she’s playing, is so high that everybody wants to rise to it.” (Shonda Rhimes)
2. She is an amazing speech-giver.
Viola Davis has delivered a number of speeches that have blown us away. Her most recent inspirational acceptance speech was for winning the Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2017 Oscars.
“Thank you Academy. You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time: ‘What kind of stories do you want to tell Viola?’ And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” (Viola Davis)
Her acceptance speech for being named Harvard’s Artist of the Year in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the performing arts is also worth listening to.
El sábado [4/3] Viola Davis recibió el Artist of the Year Award en la Universidad de Harvard [USA]💪🏻. Durante su discurso, la actriz ganadora del Oscar le dijo a los estudiantes, "Quiero que la gente sea vista. Quiero que se sientan menos solos. Creo que Picasso fue el que dijo, 'Pinto porque quiero mostrar a la gente lo que pasa detrás de los ojos'. Su trabajo es abrirse y permitir transformarse, y ese es el poder de lo que hacemos. Y siento que si un miembro de la audiencia cambia de cualquier manera posible, he hecho mi trabajo. No puedo prometer que no voy a cag*rla de vez en cuando, porque he hecho algunas cag*das, déjenme decirles… Pero tengo que decir que me siento honrado de estar en presencia de tantos artistas aquí "👏🏻. Por cierto, ¿Qué les pareció el final de temporada de HTGAWM? ¡Quiero leer sus comentarios!❤ #ViolaDavis #Harvard #FashionNews #CelebritiesNews #BowMagazine #BowFashionNews #Style #Celebridades #Moda #Culturapop #Magazine #Notireporte #Venezuela #HowTogetawaywithmurder #Estrellas
3. And, she’s proud to be Viola Davis.
Aside from being an acclaimed actress, we listen to Viola Davis because she’s excellent at striking chords and making us act on these feels. (After wiping those tears and throwing all those tissue rolls, of course.)
During her acceptance speech for her 2012 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, Davis reminds us why we love her.
“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, truly being who you are. And I’ve spent far too long apologizing for that—my age, my color, my lack of classical beauty—that now at the age of, well, at the age of 46, I’m very proud to be Viola Davis, for whatever it’s worth.” (Viola Davis)
Together, we are strong, we are proud, and we are phenomenal. Today is International Women’s Day, so let's celebrate all of the phenomenal women out there. Go to omaze.com/woman or the link in my bio to get your own Maya Angelou-inspired t-shirt while supporting seven fearless orgs fighting for women’s rights.
So, yes, if you can be anyone, listen to Viola Davis and just be who you are and smile.