Viola Davis

American actress

Viola Davis (born August 11 1965) is an American actress and producer. She is notable as the first black actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting (to win an Emmy, an Academy, and a Tony award). She has starred in ABC's How to Get Away With Murder and the 2011 film The Help.

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  • It’s only been recently that I can admit that I would jump in trash bins looking for food and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry. I would fall asleep in school on a daily basis because we had nothing.
  • Artists and actors of color have to alter and water ourselves down for Hollywood, but I refuse to be pacified.
    • Spoken during an address at Macky Auditorium as quoted in "Viola Davis shares words of wisdom with full audience at Macky Auditorium" by CU Independent.
  • I always say that one thing missing in cinema is that regular black woman…Not anyone didactic, or whose sole purpose in the narrative is to illustrate some social abnormality. There’s no meaning behind it, other than she is just there…I would love to have a black female Klute, or Kramer, or Unmarried Woman, or Annie Hall. But who’s gonna write it, who’s gonna produce it, who’s gonna see it, again and again and again?
  • I was trying to fit in, stifling my voice, stifling who I was, in order to be seen as pretty, in order for people to like me. And then going home, not being able to sleep and having anxiety. I have found that the labelling of me, and having to fit into that box, has cost me a great deal. I’ve had a lot of lost years.
  • …I know Jim Crow, I understand that time period. It’s a 100-year time period that was rife with lots of violence and anger, and people with lost dreams and hopes. I wanted the frustration and that anger to be more palpable.
  • …My definition of success is legacy, is significance. And also, might I add, my authenticity is my rebellion. It's my F.U., per se. It helps when I think of it like that. That's why I give these speeches; that's why I say what I say. And it's also my narcissism, because I feel that that's probably what sets me apart from most people. But all those things are in my idea of success. If I can go to my grave feeling like — you know, it's like Lorraine Toussaint said. She said the reason why she adopted her child is because she didn't want "series regular" to be on her tombstone. And yeah, I want something quite beautiful, like Shirley Chisholm — you know, on her tombstone is "Unbought and Unbossed." 

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