She has an Oscar, Primetime Emmy, and two Tony Awards to go with it. If Viola Davis could sing, she could earn a Grammy and become one of the very few EGOTs. An EGOT is a person who has earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony Award. She’s ¾ of the way there now, and we would not be at all surprised if she manages to pull a Grammy out somewhere along the line. Viola Davis is pure magic. EGOT aside, though, she made history as the only black woman to earn what’s called the Triple Crown of Acting (the Emmy, Oscar, Tony).
In fact, she’s the only African-American in history to do so. She’s made us laugh, cry, sob, roll on the floor in delight, and she’s always the best at what she does. No one will forget her name, and she knows it. She’s changing the game – and she knows it.
She’s Changing the Game
“I can change the way black women are seen,” she said in an interview following the release of her new film, The Woman King. She is not wrong, either. Davis worked for years to make this movie. Seven years, if you want to be specific. “I call it The Fight. It’s a fight to find partners who have the same vision as you, who are able to give it a green light. And then the other fight, if it’s a predominantly Black female cast, is that because we haven’t led the global box office, there’s no precedent that it will work and make the money back for the people who invest in it…The bottom line is money. It’s not about cultural impact – it’s about money,” she said of her seven-year journey to make this movie. She wants to tell a story, and she’ll find a way to make it happen. She did, too.
Viola Davis Does the Work
What stands out about Viola Davis is not that she’s talented. She is talented, of course, but that’s not what we mean. She turns herself into a character. When she played opposite Denzel Washington in Fences – and earned herself an Academy Award as Rose Maxson – she changed the game.
She was a wife in the 1950s who dared to defy her husband by allowing their son to chase his dreams and agreeing to raise the baby her husband bore through an affair as her own when his mistress died in childbirth – but she does not take her husband back. Davis does things on her own, and she is phenomenal. She turned herself into Rose Maxson.
When she starred in The Help as a woman working as a housemaid in the 1960s in Mississippi, she became the role. She gave the performance of a lifetime in that role, and she nailed it. When she took on the role of Nanisca in The Woman King, she became the Woman King. She trained for eight months – hours upon hours a day – to become this woman. She abstained from many of the things in her life she loves. Viola Davis did many of her own stunts. She went up against men in hand-to-hand combat. She became the character. It’s how she brings the work to life, and it’s how she changes the game.
Playing the Terrifying Annalise Keating
When she and Shonda Rhimes decided to work together on a show for ABC called How to Get Away with Murder, they knew they had something amazing. Viola Davis took on the role of Annalise Keating, a woman attorney who had a secret – and it was taking over her life.
She taught law, she became involved in a murder plot, and she had to outthink, outpace, and outwit everyone in her life. Davis became the character. She was terrifying and intimidating, and she was dominating. There was no character like her on screen. Viola Davis is a powerhouse in this role. Just like she is in every role she plays.
Viola Davis is Also A Real Woman
Though we tend to see her as her character – powerful, strong, and courageous – she’s also a wife, a mom, and a real person. She went through stuff growing up. She went through stuff as an adult. Her story is not the same as anyone else’s, but her story is also so similar to so many people in the world in its own way. She didn’t always have it easy. However, she is a woman who loves her husband and their daughter.
She is light, happy, and funny, and she is a friend and loving mom and wife. She is someone people love working with. Her reputation in Hollywood is amazing. People adore her, and it’s important to remind the world that she’s also just really good at life.
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