Davis has learned to embrace who she is
Viola Davis – who plays lawyer Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder – admitted she initially felt the need to lose weight for the role. However, she then came to the realization this was simply unnecessary and learned to embrace who she really is.
The star revealed her feelings in a touching speech about self-acceptance while picking up the #SeeHer Award at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
While speaking on stage at the ceremony, which took place this Sunday in California, she stated: “It’s hard to accept being a role model for women when you’re trying to lose weight.
I’ve always discovered the heart of my characters, I guess, by asking ‘Why?’ “When I was handed Annalise Keating, I said, ‘She’s sexy, she’s mysterious.’
I’m used to playing women where I’ve got to gain 40 pounds and wear an apron. So I said, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to lose weight. I’ve got to learn how to walk like Kerry Washington in heels. I gotta lose my belly.’ And then I asked myself, ‘Well, why do I have to do all of that?’
I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, and I just recently embraced that at 51.”
Viola – who has a five-year-old daughter with Julius Tennon – believes her “strongest power’ is the role she plays as a tough lawyer.
“I think my strongest power is that at 10 o’clock every Thursday night, I want you to come into my world. I am not going to come into yours. You come into my world and you sit with me, my size, my hue, my age, and you sit and you experience. And I think that’s the only power I have as an artist, so I thank you for this award.”