Viola Davis is one of the most iconic actresses of our time and a phenomenal screen performer who has displayed several character ranges rivaled by only a few.
She first graced screens as a theater actress in the 2002 “King Hedley II” production. This bagged her a Tony award for Best Featured Actress in a play.
It wasn’t until six years after that she broke into film with her role in “Doubt.” Her role earned her a nod for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and offered her opportunities to star in critically acclaimed movies.
The actress has played valiant women who wield their influence with ruthless effectiveness, vulnerable but hardened survivors, even weak and beleaguered women.
Recently, Davis opened up about the trauma she had experienced over the years in her new memoir, “Finding Me.” Read on to learn more.
‘It’s Part Of Who I Am’
The award-winning actress opened up to People in an interview about how she lived in debilitating poverty with her parents as a child.
Even though people seemed to disbelieve her due to the strides she’s achieved today, she confirmed that was a part of her life.
As Davis and her family lived from hand to mouth, she endured trauma and suffering. They lived in a dilapidated building that was infested with animals, ate from dumpsters that were full of maggots, reeked of urine because she frequently urinated on the bed, and had no clean replacement.
She also spoke of the physical abuse her mostly-drunken father inflicted on her mom, alongside the sexual abuse she and her sisters went through.
As she reminisces, she counts it as all joy, adding that “All of those things happened to me, but I own it. And it’s a part of who I am.”
Viola Davis Had Several Doubts About Writing The Memoir
In the same interview, Davis confessed that she had an enormous sense of “existential crisis” before she wrote the memoir.
According to popular opinion, she was defined mainly by her art and known as rich and famous with a great husband who loved her as well as a beautiful child.
Yet Davis says that this wasn’t the case. According to her, it seemed like she was hiding a part of her story.
She added, “It’s almost like I reinvented all the things that I wanted to and tossed away the rest of it. You know when you look at pictures down memory lane, and you see it differently. I’m looking at little Viola, and I see how strong she was and how she was just a spitfire. I think that’s why I wrote the book, that if I somehow explored it, unpacked those memories, resolved them, that somehow I could find my peace.”
After she finished writing the memoir, she admitted to feeling “terrified but great,” mentioning that although living one’s truth might be risky for one’s reputation and exposure, “there was no other way to live.”
Davis Has Learnt To Forgive Her Dad Despite Years Of Abuse
In her People interview, she also spoke of how she decided to forgive her father even after years of experiencing him inflict pain on her mom, Mae Alice.
Davis mentioned that forgiveness for her, wasn’t a pretty act but realized that it was good for both parties, adding that “love and forgiveness can operate on the same plane as anger.”
She realized that in spite of his violent acts, her father loved her. She added that she “felt, saw, and received” the love, claiming that she’d choose not to remember her father by “who he used to be” and “what he used to do.” “That’s my choice. That’s my legacy: forgiving my dad,” she concluded.
Davis Is Married To Julius Tennon
Davis has been married to her husband Julius Tennon for over a decade. The pair, who are co-founders of the production company, JuVee Productions, share an 11-year daughter, Genesis.
The actress is also a stepmom to Tennon’s two kids from previous relationships. As she reflected in the interview, she admitted to being very grateful for every part of her journey, stating that her experience has given her an “extraordinary sense of compassion.”
“Finding Me” launches on April 26.
View this post on Instagram