People did this awesome article about how Viola & Denzel met and how they built a friendship.
Denzel Washington doesn’t remember exactly when he met Viola Davis — but she does. It was 21 years ago when Davis was starring in the 1996 Broadway production of August Wilson’s play Seven Guitars.
“He came [backstage] and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I met Denzel Washington!’” Davis recalls to PEOPLE alongside her Fences costar and fellow Oscar nominee. The two became better acquainted years later when Washington, 62, cast Davis, 51, in his 2002 directorial debut, Antwone Fisher.
“I remember you were at the Trump Towers [in New York City] holding the auditions,” Davis says to Washington.
“I tell you what, it was a short audition process after that,” Washington remembers. “I’m not just saying that because you’re sitting here. [I thought] ‘I know there’s other folks sitting out there, I guess we’ll have a look at them because I don’t want them to feel bad.’ “
Their work together on Antwone Fisher was the official start of a very happy working relationship, although the two didn’t cross paths again until they began work on the 2010 Broadway production of Fences. The play, about a troubled 1950s family, won three Tony awards including best revival of a play and best actor and best actress for Washington and Davis.
Both actors agree that one of the main reasons they agreed to do the film version of Fences was the opportunity to work together again, along with several of the other original actors from the play.
“You miss these actors,” says Davis. “Usually I hate being the only girl because I feel like I’m so shy and awkward, I don’t like being around a lot of male energy.”
“Look at her, as she pulls her coat closed,” laughs Washington, watching Davis. “That’s interesting.”
“I know but I just loved being around all of [them],” she adds. “They’re just great, great men. To me Denzel is familiar, he’s easy. It’s like I know him. It’s like, ‘That’s Denzel.’ I feel that it’s always been that way. He, his wife, his kids, and at the same time, I’m a fan. I don’t like telling him that but I’m a fan. But I think he always makes interesting choices, I think it’s always rooted in truth and humanity and I think he has a lot of courage, he’s not a wimp and I like that. I think it takes a lot of courage to be an artist and to really go for it with your ideas, he has all that.”
“And thank you, goodnight,” laughs Washington at the compliments. “And, scene!”
So how does Washington feel about Davis?
“I just like Viola,” he says. “Viola is a great actor, I love working with her and I love watching her. I love being a part of it. It’s interesting working with her because we’ve worked together twice, but in both those cases other than the play I directed her, but not really directed her. When we did Antwone Fisher, because we’re actors, I recognize one when I see one. I know how I am and I could see she wanted to be left alone [during filming], she was in the zone, so I knew what to do. Just leave her alone and just watch.”
I don’t want to just say a cliché answer, she’s good and I love her,” he adds. “She’s a sweet lady and she’s talented and here we are.”
Last night Viola attended the BET Presents The American Black Film Festival Honors where she presented Denzel Washington with the Hollywood Legacy Award.
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > BET Presents The American Black Film Festival Honors – Audience
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > BET Presents The American Black Film Festival Honors – Ceremony
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > BET Presents The American Black Film Festival Honors – Backstage
Viola talked with Jimmy Kimmel about being nominated for the Best Supporting Actress for her work in the film Fences.
E!Online gives us an overview of the interview.
Viola Davis is having a moment.
The Fences actress appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night, and though she’s been sweeping nearly every award show this season, she was surprised by just how many honors she’s received overall. “I’ve won over 30 awards?” she asked. “You got that at Wikipedia, right?”
Jimmy Kimmel proceeded to tease her, asking, “Do you have any other people left to thank at the Oscars, because you are the odds on favorite to win? In fact, some say you’re a lock to win.”
But Davis—who lost the Best Supporting Actress award for Doubt in 2008 and the Best Actress award for The Help in 2011 —doesn’t want to buy into her own hype. “I’ve been the odds on favorite to win before and did not. It’s devastating; it makes it worse,” she admitted. “You’re sitting there and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m the odds-on favorite.’ And then your name is not called.”
To further illustrate her point, the How to Get Away With Murder actress said, “It’s like falling from a 100-story building…If you know you’re losing, it’s like falling from a one-story building.”
Davis is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 2017 Oscars alongside Moonlight’s Naomie Harris, Lion’s Nicole Kidman, Hidden Figures’ Octavia Spencer and Manchester by the Sea’s Michelle Williams, and the winner will be announced live on Feb. 26.
Davis—a BAFTA-, Critics’ Choice-, Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Tony award-winning actress—has become known for her inspirational acceptance speeches over the years. “I write them, Jimmy. They’re off the cuff,” she said before asking Kimmel, “You want me to help you for the Oscars?”
“Don’t worry: I’m not going to win anything,” Kimmel laughed. “But I’ll take anything I can get.”
Later on, Kimmel showed one of Davis’ standout scenes in Fences and asked about Davis’ emotional state. “Pardon me if this is an inappropriate question: Was that your snot or was that snot that was added?” he asked. Davis laughed and replied, “That was my snot. Everyone talks about my snot! It’s gotten to the point I’m [over it]. My nose runs when I cry. I don’t want to spend half the scene [wiping snot away]. Listen, after 23 takes, I had very clear nasal passages!”
Other clips released:
Viola talks about getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right in front of a Marshall’s and recalls getting a street named after her in her hometown.
Viola talks about what her character on ‘How To Get Away with Murder’ is currently going through.
Viola reveals that she had her own, real snot on her face in a scene from her film Fences and talks about mentoring young actor Jovan Adepo, who also appears in the movie.
People.com did a new shoot of all the Best Supporting Actresses and I have added the beautiful new shot of Viola to our gallery. She looks stunning in green.
Viola Davis Online > Outtakes > 2017 > 007
I have added a handful of new images from Viola’s role in her film Fences to the gallery.
Viola Davis Online > Films > 2016 | Fences
We have an all new look here at Viola Davis Online … it features some fun images of Viola and was designed by Claudia at Never Enough Design. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Viola participated in the Cagle Experience … check out her answers!
Viola Davis doesn’t have to think twice when it comes to her first celebrity crush.
The Fences Oscar nominee, 51, shared some candid confessions with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle for The Cagle Exercise — and Davis didn’t hold back.
So who was her first movie star crush?
“Billy Dee Williams,” she said with a shrug.
The actress also revealed that she “would never watch” one of her own movies and that Billy Crystal was one of her favorite Oscar hosts. Davis also said she’s usually thinking about food whenever the camera cuts to her during an awards ceremony.
And as she gears up for this year’s Oscar ceremony, Davis already knows whom she’s going to make sure to thank if she wins.
“My hubby, my husband,” she said. “Which I forget a lot, so.”
Perhaps all those thoughts about food leaves her a bit distracted?