Viola Davis Talks About Making Real Impact After Receiving Women in Motion Award

The 56-year-old actress, who was honored with the award at the Cannes Film Festival, mentioned about ‘elevating’ opportunities for people of colour through her and her husband’s JuVee Production.

AceShowbizViola Davis always wanted her life “to matter.” “The Woman King” star shared that she used to think being an actress was her way of making her mark on the world. However, she’s grown to realise that “elevating” opportunities for people of colour through her and her husband’s JuVee Productions is where she can make a real impact.

Speaking as she picked up the Women In Motion award at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, May 22, “The First Lady” actress, who has daughter Genesis, 11, with husband Julius Tennon, said, “As a little chocolate girl that grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island in abject poverty, with a certain level of poverty, I always wanted my life to matter. I wanted to leave this earth with a big fat hole in it and I felt the way to do that was to become an actress, but now that I’ve progressed in my career, what I’ve realised is that I want to elevate storytelling for people of color.”

The 56-year-old star has always tried to “be the change” she wanted to see in Hollywood. Of the award, she shared, “It means an acknowledgement of my legacy, which is what I want to shift the narrative of women of color to. It’s no longer acceptable for us to be defined by men, defined by any other structure other than ourselves, and it became obvious to me as I was progressing in my career that I had to be the change that I wanted to see, and that is why we started this. I want to see black women for the beautiful complicated beings that they are.”

Viola’s receipt of the award came a few days after she revealed a director she’d known for over a decade once mistakenly called her by his maid’s name. “I had a director who did that to me. He said, ‘Louise!’ I knew him for 10 years and he called me Louise and I find out that it’s because his maid’s name is Louise,” she divulged. “I was maybe around 30 at the time, so it was a while ago. But what you have to realise is that those micro-aggressions happen all the time.”

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