Hollywood actress Viola Davis is on the cover of THR‘s Women in Entertainment issue.
The second of two issues this week, Viola Davis reveals herself to best-selling author and leadership guru Brene Brown in a raw exchange about trauma, healing, politics, and how Time’s Up is changing Hollywood.
Here’s what the actress had to share with the magazine:
On Being honest with yourself:
“I had the Oscar, I have two Tonys, I have the Emmy, I have a big house, and still — bam — unfulfilling. Then I realized it’s because I’m not living for significance and legacy,” Davis says. “And this is a big one, and this sort of hurts a little bit: I’m finally admitting to myself that a lot of the jobs I’ve taken in the past, because I knew that they would further my career, have been things that I have not been proud of. They put more money in the bank, they raised my status, but at night they keep me up.”
On Change after #MeToo and Time’s Up:
“I think everybody’s fighting to be seen now, and I don’t think anybody is quiet about it,” she says. “That’s the one great thing that has come from this zeitgeist. I’ll tell you what I think is underrated: anger. Because what anger does to you is, it makes you realize when someone has crossed a boundary. Now people have gotten angry, they’re like, ‘I may have been quiet for a while, but I can’t be quiet anymore. You’ve got to see me.’”
On Her industry impact:
“I don’t have to walk into the room like a dude, and have a pretend penis and sling it on the table and say, ‘I’m in the room now. You need to freaking listen to me,’” she says. “I can come exactly how I am and I feel that my story, my understanding of people, my experiences, my vulnerability, my need to even embrace people, all of my feminine energy, is going to make me powerful. I think that’s going to make me a game-changer.”
On how she views America:
“I see America as that uncle who always gave you a whole lot of candy and treated you with the utmost respect and who you loved more than anything in the world, but who has a record for murder. That’s how I see America. I think that that is hard to reconcile, the messy with the love.”
On discovering who she is post-fame: “Now, at 53, I’m picking out what the pieces are. Literally. For instance, just an example, I’ve gained weight. Now, listen, I’m not a skinny Minnie. I’ve never been a skinny Minnie. I’m a yo-yo dieter. I’m always weighing myself. I always go to bed in a panic that I’m really heavy, I’m not pretty, I’m not this, I’m not that. But I don’t care about being pretty…I never cared about being pretty. I came to L.A., and all of a sudden, I care about being pretty because I feel like that is my way of being accepted into a larger community, coming from poverty, coming from a past of invisibility. Now, it’s like, I don’t care about that! And once I decided I didn’t care about that, I feel pretty good! I feel pretty good! It’s lightened my load.”
On admitting she’s taken projects she regrets: “I had the Oscar, I have two Tonys, I have the Emmy, I have a big house, and still — bam — unfulfilling. Then I realized it’s because I’m not living for significance and legacy. And this is a big one, and this sort of hurts a little bit: I’m finally admitting to myself that a lot of the jobs I’ve taken in the past, because I knew that they would further my career, have been things that I have not been proud of. They put more money in the bank, they raised my status, but at night they keep me up.”