Why Do People Love Viola Davis?

Viola Davis is one of the most acclaimed and beloved actresses of her generation. She has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award, Tony Award, and Emmy Awards for her powerful and moving performances. There are many reasons why Viola Davis has such a dedicated fanbase who adore her work.

Her Acting Talent

One of the main reasons people love Viola Davis is because of her sheer talent as an actress. She is able to completely transform into any character she plays and fully embody the emotional truth of the role.

Her Stage Presence

Even before becoming a renowned film and TV actress, Viola Davis made a name for herself on the Broadway stage. She has starred in many acclaimed plays, including Fences, Julius Caesar, and King Hedley II.

Audiences were amazed at her commanding stage presence and ability to captivate a live audience. Her breakthrough Broadway performance was her Tony-winning role in the 2010 revival of Fences.

Her Powerful Performances

When Viola Davis entered the screen, she immediately impressed critics and audiences with her nuanced and complex performances. She brings gravitas and depth to every role she inhabits. Some of her most notable performances include:

  • Doubt – Her supporting role as Mrs. Miller earned her first Oscar nomination. With just one scene, she made an indelible impression.
  • The Help – As stoic maid Aibileen Clark, Viola Davis grounded this period drama with a powerful, understated performance that earned her more critical acclaim.
  • How to Get Away with Murder – As tough, flawed lawyer Annalise Keating, Viola won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, becoming the first black woman to win the honor.
  • Fences – Reprising her Tony-winning Broadway role as Rose Maxson in the film adaptation, Viola finally won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress after three previous nominations.

Her Emotional Depth

Viola Davis is able to convey a vast range of emotions that allow audiences to deeply connect with her characters. She pours incredible passion and vulnerability into every role. Even in more subdued parts, there is always intensity simmering beneath the surface. Watching Viola Davis act feels like you are getting a glimpse into the inner soul of the character.

Her Natural Authenticity

There is a genuine authenticity to Viola Davis’s acting. She does not come across as an actor playing a part – instead, she fully inhabits her characters and makes you believe they are real people. There are never any false notes in her performances. Audiences are compelled by her raw, honest portrayals.

Her Perseverance and Work Ethic

Another aspect of Viola Davis that her fans admire is her perseverance against difficult odds and her incredible work ethic. She does not take her success for granted and is always looking to grow as an artist.

Her Early Struggles

Viola Davis grew up in poverty in Rhode Island. She lived in an apartment so small that her bed touched the stove. She overcame many obstacles in her early life before discovering her passion for acting. She worked hard to train and develop her craft, attending Julliard drama school after graduating from Rhode Island College.

Her Late Success

Most actresses find major success in their 20s and 30s, but Viola Davis did not achieve leading lady status until age 43 when she starred in The Help. She spent years in supporting roles and working in television before making it big on the silver screen. Her fans love that she never gave up on achieving her dreams.

Her Dedication to Her Craft

Even after achieving fame and critical acclaim, Viola Davis remains dedicated to continually improving as an actress. She goes above and beyond for every part she plays, pouring 100% of herself into each role. She also seeks out challenging, complex characters that push her out of her comfort zone.

Her Activism and Social Impact

Not only is Viola Davis an incredible actress, but she also uses her platform to enact social change and speak out on important causes. This activism makes her even more beloved by her fanbase.

Advocating for Diversity

One of Viola Davis’s most passionate causes is advocating for greater diversity and representation in Hollywood. She pushes for more significant roles for women of color and speaks openly about the obstacles she has faced as a black actress. She expands opportunities for others even as her star continues to rise.

Gender Equality Activism

In addition to racial diversity, Viola Davis also lends her voice to gender equality causes. She stands up for equal pay and Hollywood sexism. She refuses to be boxed into stereotypical roles and seeks dynamic, leading parts generally reserved for men. She challenges gender barriers through the strong female characters she portrays.

Philanthropy and Charity Work

Giving back is very important to Viola Davis. She has been involved with numerous charities over the years and started her own organization, The Viola Davis Foundation, to support arts education for youth in underserved communities. Her generosity makes her an even more inspirational public figure.

Her Authentic Personality

Fans not only love Viola Davis for her acting talents but also for her genuine, authentic personality off-screen. She comes across in interviews as humble, funny, passionate, and deeply thoughtful.

Her Sense of Humor

Despite her intense on-screen presence, Viola Davis has a lively sense of humor that she showcases in talk show interviews and social media. Her fans are delighted when she cracks jokes and shows her playful side. She comes across as very down-to-earth and relatable.

Her Wisdom and Insight

When speaking about her craft and life experiences, Viola Davis has incredible wisdom to share. She is introspective about her journey as an actress and the challenges she has overcome. Fans admire her insight and appreciate learning from her.

Her Passion and Curiosity

One of the most appealing qualities of Viola Davis is her enduring passion for acting and constant curiosity to learn more. Even after so much success, she still has a joy and hunger for her craft. Her passion is infectious for fans.

Her Authenticity

Viola Davis keeps it real. There is no pretense or arrogance to her. She openly shares her vulnerabilities and insecurities. She is honest about the sexism and racism she has faced. Fans feel like she is approachable and someone they could be friends with in real life.

Memorable Viola Davis Roles

Throughout her acclaimed career on stage, TV and film, Viola Davis has left her mark with many iconic, memorable performances. Here are just some of the most noteworthy Viola Davis roles that demonstrate her impeccable talent:

Role Production Year
Tonya in King Hedley II Broadway Play 2001
Mrs. Miller in Doubt Film 2008
Aibileen Clark in The Help Film 2011
Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad Film 2016
Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder TV Series 2014-2020
Rose Maxson in Fences Film 2016

Quotes about Viola Davis

Viola Davis is so beloved that many fellow artists, co-stars, directors, and critics have sung her praises over the years. Here are some quotes that capture the immense respect and admiration she has earned:

Meryl Streep

“Someone once said the great roles find the great actors. Not so in the case of Viola Davis. She has sought them out. She has hungered for them, and now she inhabits them. She is immensely talented and very brave.”

Denzel Washington

“She’s like rigor mortis. Once it sets in, that’s it. When she latches on, you can’t move – she won’t let you move. Watch out! She isn’t acting – she’s alive.”

Octavia Spencer

“She is one of the most generous actresses on the planet… She makes everyone feel like they can do anything.”

Ava DuVernay

“She’s regal. She has this elegance about her that feels so real and authentic, yet also cinematic.”

Shonda Rhimes

“Viola has an uncanny ability to break your heart and still make you think she’s the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.”


In conclusion, Viola Davis has earned such widespread admiration because she is the total package – a once-in-a-generation acting talent who brings emotional truth and humanity to every character she embodies on screen.

Her determination, wisdom, authenticity and activism make her an inspirational role model as well. She has persevered against the odds to achieve success while also elevating others. Audiences are continually moved by her vulnerability and gravitas.

Simply put, Viola Davis is a national treasure, and that is why people love her so much. Her storied career ensures that she will remain one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Viola Davis

What was Viola Davis’s big breakout role?

Viola Davis’s first major breakout role was in the 2001 Broadway play King Hedley II, for which she won a Tony Award. Her breakthrough film role came in 2008 in Doubt, where she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress after just one scene onscreen.

How many Academy Award nominations has she received?

To date, Viola Davis has been nominated for 4 Academy Awards. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Doubt (2008), The Help (2011) and Fences (2016). She won the Oscar for Fences, taking home the Best Supporting Actress award in 2017.

What Emmy Award did Viola Davis win?

In 2015, Viola Davis made history by becoming the first black woman to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She won the award for her role as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder.

What political and social causes is Viola Davis involved with?

Viola Davis uses her platform to advocate for racial diversity and gender equality in Hollywood. She also brings attention to issues of poverty and injustice. She created The Viola Davis Foundation to support youth arts education in underserved communities.

How does Viola Davis choose her roles?

Viola Davis seeks complex, challenging roles that push her as an artist. She purposely avoids stereotypical or one-dimensional characters. Even if the project is low budget, she prioritizes compelling, nuanced narratives that allow her acting talents to shine.

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