Viola Davis Quotes

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Viola Davis

Davis at the SAG Awards, 2015
Born (1965-08-11) August 11, 1965 (age 51)
St. Matthews, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater Rhode Island College (1988)
Juilliard School (1993)
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1996–present
Home town Central Falls, Rhode Island
Spouse(s) Julius Tennon (m. 2003)
Children 3
Awards Full list

We grew up in abject poverty. Acting, writing scripts and skits were a way of escaping our environment at a very young age.
Viola Davis
When you’re working as an actor, you don’t think that when you get out of school, it’s going to be so hard to get a job. Just to get a job. Any job. Whatsoever. You don’t think that people are going to see you in a certain way.
Viola Davis
And this is what was fascinating to me about ‘The Help’; they were ordinary people who did extraordinary things.
Viola Davis
I heard about the book and I said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to read this book,’ and I didn’t know that a white woman wrote it. Nobody said that to me, they just said, ‘The Help – Oh my god, you’ve got to read it.’ Everyone failed to mention it was a white woman, I think, because nobody really wants to talk about race.
Viola Davis
I can’t deal with actors! I can’t deal with myself. We’re neurotic and miserable … I love doing what I’m doing, but while I’m doing it, I’m miserable.
Viola Davis
That’s why I do what I do, and that’s why I wanted to be an actress from the time I was six years old. If I can’t effectively move people, then I would prefer not to do it.
Viola Davis
I think that’s something that people feel that I do really well; I don’t mind it, because ultimately I think the characters I play move people, and who wouldn’t want to move people?
Viola Davis
And that’s what people want to see when they go to the theater. I believe at the end of the day, they want to see themselves – parts of their lives they can recognize. And I feel if I can achieve that, it’s pretty spectacular.
Viola Davis
I’ve been online doing all kinds of research and that seems to be the constant criticism, that Aibileen’s accent was just too thick. And for me, I don’t want anything to distract from the character.
Viola Davis
Your internal dialogue has got to be different from what you say. And, you know, in film, hopefully that registers and speaks volumes. It’s always the unspoken word and what’s happening behind someone’s eyes that makes it so rich.
Viola Davis
Well, first of all, you read the script a million times. Because what the script gives you are given circumstances. Given circumstances are all the facts of your character.
Viola Davis
Can I just tell you, I think it’s the most beautiful thing about young people today, it gives me so much hope for the future, that they don’t really recognize race the way my generation does.
Viola Davis
Sometimes you take a job for the money, sometimes you take it for the location, sometimes you take it for the script; there are just a number of reasons, and ultimately what you see is the whole landscape of it. But I can tell you from behind the scenes – that’s what it is, as an actor.
Viola Davis
Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea Goes to Jail!’ Which, I have to tell you, of everything that I’ve ever done in my career, that’s the only thing that’s perked up the ears of my nieces and nephews. That is it, that’s done it for them. That made me a bona fide star in their eyes!
Viola Davis
In life, you know, they do this in focus groups; if you were in such and such circumstance, what would you do? Well, you never know what you’re going do unless you’re faced with it.
Viola Davis
I didn’t see myself any different from my white counterparts in school. I just didn’t! I thought I could do what they did. And what I didn’t do well, I thought people were going to give me the opportunity to do well, because maybe they saw my talent, so they would give me a chance. I had no idea that they would see me completely different.
Viola Davis
I worked in television; I’m the Failed Pilot Queen, I’ve done so many television shows, pilots, theater … when you do it for so long, I’m telling you, you get to the point where it becomes varied because you take what’s available for a number of reasons. It’s just an occupational hazard.
Viola Davis
I do believe that there are African Americans who have thick accents. My mom has a thick accent; my relatives have thick accents. But sometimes you have to adjust when you go into the world of film, TV, theatre, in order to make it accessible to people.
Viola Davis
I love Wal-Mart. You can put that down. I love Wal-Mart. My husband and I hang out there.
Viola Davis
Sometimes you see how humanity can rise above any kind of cultural ills and hate that a person’s capacity to love and communicate and forgive can be bigger than anything else.
Viola Davis