Viola Davis is no stranger to breaking barriers in Hollywood.
As the star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, she’s the first and only black woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, which she received in 2015. After winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 2016’s Fences, she became the first black actor to earn the “Triple Crown of Acting,” by winning a competitive Oscar, Emmy and Tony.
But the actress has been open about her humble beginnings, growing up in poverty in Rhode Island, telling ET that part of the way she overcame her struggles was to “dream big.”
“Dreaming is like going to the gym for me. It’s what I did every day,” Davis said at the time. “Every day I tackled something. Every day, even when I had obstacles in front of me, even if it was something I could do that made me just a step closer to my dreams, I did it.”
Now, on the National Geographic docuseries America Inside Out With Katie Couric, the actress is recounting the barriers she faced as a woman of color trying to break through in Hollywood.
“I’m not pretty enough; I’m too fat; I’m not good enough; my hair — that was a big one; my skin tone,” Davis lists off in a frank conversation with the journalist.
In tonight’s episode, “The Revolt,” Couric examines why Davis and other women remain more vulnerable to harassment and abuse in the workplace. She then goes beyond those tragic stories to discover how gender inequality, unconscious bias and sexual harassment are linked through interviews with other trailblazers like Geena Davis and Elisabeth Moss, who are helping Hollywood change in the Time’s Up era.
Viola is an Academy Award, Emmy Award & Tony Award winning actress who is best known for her roles in films such as Fences, The Help, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and Ender's Game and from her role in the hit ABC series How to Get Away With Murder. Viola is an ambassador who fights to eradicate Childhood Hunger. Viola is married to Julius Tennon and a mother to her daughter Genesis.
How to Get Away With Murder 2014-Present | Crime, Drama, Mystery as: Annalise Keating A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives.
Widows 2018 | Crime, Drama, Thriller as: Veronica Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common accept a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Untitled Harriet Tubman Project Announced | Biography, Drama, History as: Harriet Tubman The life of Civil War-era activist Harriet Tubman, who worked to liberate slaves in the American South by developing an a secretive system that allowed them to escape to freedom.
The Woman King Announced | Drama, History as: Nanisca Inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries, The Woman King tells the story of Nanisca, general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi, who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.
"One in five children in this country don’t know where their next meal is coming from. I was one of those kids. There is no reason why kids should have to go through what I went through. I know that telling my story will continue to heighten our awareness surrounding this problem and we will keep fighting to end childhood hunger in this country." To learn more about this campaign and the part Viola plays in it go here.
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