Actress and activist Viola Davis named Barnard’s Commencement speaker

The Columbia Spectator shared the news that Viola will be the commencement speaker at Barnard College at Columbia University.

Acclaimed actor, activist, and humanitarian Viola Davis, Juilliard ‘93, will deliver the keynote address at Barnard’s 127th Commencement in May, administrators announced in an email to the Barnard community on Monday. Davis will also receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the college’s highest honor, at the ceremony.

Davis is the first black actor to have won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award in acting, named the Triple Crown of Acting. She has starred in films such as “Fences,” “Suicide Squad,” “The Help,” and “Widows,” and was also the first black actor to win an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, which she received for her work in the television show “How to Get Away with Murder.” Additionally, she is known for activist work, including collaborating with the Hunger Is campaign to help eradicate childhood hunger across America.

In the email, Barnard President Sian Beilock, along with co-interim Deans of the College Alicia Lawrence and Natalie Friedman described the impact of Davis’ career.

“In both her work and her life, she has been a fearless voice for women, women of color, and all who deserve to be seen and heard,” they wrote.

Other medalists at Barnard’s Commencement this year include pioneering civil rights attorney and fair housing advocate Shirley Adelson Siegel, BC ’37; Vice President for Content and Character Development at Marvel Comics and creator of the first Muslim superhero Sana Amanat, BC ’04; and internationally recognized poet, playwright, essayist, and memoirist Cherríe Moraga.

Each will be awarded a Barnard Medal of Distinction, the college’s highest honor.

Commencement will take place on Monday, May 20 at 4 p.m., at Radio City Music Hall.

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Viola Davis to Return as Amanda Waller in James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’

Exciting news! Thank you to The Wrap for sharing!

Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winner Viola Davis will return as Amanda Waller in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” an individual with knowledge of the project exclusively told TheWrap.

The sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” will hit theaters on Aug. 6, 2021. Peter Safran and Charles Roven are producing.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” director Gunn was brought on board to helm the project. He also wrote the script and will have a completely new take on the property, in which DC supervillains are recruited by the government to carry out secret missions too dirty for the likes of Superman and Batman.

“Suicide Squad” was directed and written by David Ayer and starred Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Ezra Miller, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne and Joel Kinnaman.

It grossed $325 million domestically and almost $750 million worldwide, although it was mostly panned by critics.

Davis previously told Nerd Report that she is”fascinated by the character,” who serves the DC Universe in a similar capacity as Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Waller is described as “a former congressional aide and government agent who is often placed in charge of the Suicide Squad, a semi-secret government-run group of former super villains working in return for amnesty.”

Davis currently headlines the ABC hit “How to Get Away With Murder” and starred in “The Help,” “Fences,” and 2018’s “Widows.”

Davis is repped by CAA, Lasher Group and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman Inc.

More Stills from How To Get Away With Murder Season Five

I have come across some more stills from this last season of How To Get Away With Murder.


Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > How to Get Away with Murder {2014-Present} > Season Five > Episode Stills

Viola Goes Skydiving

This is so fun! Love how excited she was!

NAACP Image Awards

Recently Viola attended the NAACP Image Awards and looked beautiful in a white pant suit!

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > March 30 | NAACP Image Awards – Ceremony
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > March 30 | NAACP Image Awards – Backstage

2019 BAFTA Awards

Viola looked stunning on Julius’ arm as they attended the BAFTA Awards this weekend in London.

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > February 10 | BAFTA Awards
Viola Davis Online > 2019 > February 10 | BAFTA Awards – Netflix Party

“Ms. Tyson Has Always Been My Muse”: Viola Davis on the Life-Changing Magic of Cicely Tyson

Viola wrote this great piece for Vanity Fair about the talented Ms. Tyson whom she is not only co-stars with on HTGAWM but also her friend.

With a career spanning six decades and dozens of film credits, honorary Oscar winner Cicely Tyson is a bastion of Hollywood achievement. Viola Davis looks back at a lifetime of brilliant performances.

s. Cicely Tyson is elegance personified. She is excellence. She is courage. When I think of her, I think of the Stevie Wonder song: “Show me how to do like you. Show me how to do it.”

The first time I encountered her I was a little girl living in a tenement building in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where we had electricity in only one part of the apartment, and hooked our television into an extension cord we ran from one side to the other. There, sitting on the floor with my sisters, I watched the made-for-TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, in which she depicts a woman’s life from her enslavement on a southern plantation at about age 23, to her joining the civil rights movement at nearly 110. When my sister said, “That’s the same actress,” I couldn’t believe it. Back then, I lived in a sea of white faces, onscreen and off, and here was this woman who looked like me—and she was performing magic.

Good actors, through very hard work, are able to transform for a role, but Ms. Tyson—the Harlem-born daughter of immigrants, discovered in her teens by an Ebony magazine photographer—transcends that. She embodies the depth of a character, her history, her memory. It was impossible not to fall in love with everything she did, this chocolate girl with a short fro fighting to portray a wide-ranging humanity too rarely afforded to actresses of color: our sexuality, our anger, our joy, our wildness. As a teenager I watched her heart-rending performances in her Academy Award-nominated role in Sounder, and alongside Richard Pryor in Bustin’ Loose, and as a Chicago schoolteacher in The Marva Collins Story. Later, when I was a student at a Circle in the Square Theatre workshop, I came across photos of her on Broadway in the 60s, sharing the stage with Alvin Ailey and Claudia McNeil in Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, and shining in Sidney Poitier’s staging of Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights.

When I was cast as Annalise in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, I could think of no one other than Ms. Tyson to play her mother. Those first scenes we filmed together were more poignant than I could have imagined. There I was sitting on the floor like a little girl again, no wig, no makeup, and there was the then-91-year-old Ms. Tyson behind me, all grace and grit, her strong hands parting my hair and scratching my scalp the way hundreds of thousands of black mothers have done for their daughters; the way mine did for me.

A few years ago she told me a story about how, when she played Jane Foster on East Side/West Side with her own short hair, almost 50 years before I first bared my own on network television, she would get a boatload of mail every week—a boatload, she kept saying that word—from African American women who said she was a disgrace to the race, wearing her nappy hair and looking ugly on screen. “You also took that wig off, and you also got a boatload of messages,” she said to me. “But they were all positive.” Those famous Shakespeare lines comes to mind: “O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.” Ms. Tyson has always been my muse, leading me down this path of life, holding the lantern, paving the way.

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