Classy, stylish and a powerful actress, my style crush for August 2018 is Oscar, Emmy and Tony winning actress, Viola Davis, whose mantelpiece must be at breaking point with all the trophies awarded her over the years.
I first became aware of Viola in the movie, The Help and on the TV show, ‘How To Get Away With Murder!’ (HTGAWM). For such a talented actress I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t heard of her before. Browsing over her acting career I realised I had witnessed her in many top movies including ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ starring Julia Roberts and ‘Get On Up’ (a James Brown Biopic) starring Chadwick Boseman.
With such a long and well decorated career, it puzzled me why Viola was not a major star years ago. Viola herself addresses this issue in an interview with People Magazine. We all agree though that her rise to super-stardom is not only well overdue but well deserved.
I absolutely love Viola’s style, which is as bold and as strong as her acting and because of her gorgeous skin, with toned body and arms, she is a designers dream. Who remembers when Diana Ross appeared in The Wiz without her trademark long hair, the world almost lost its mind because most people (including many black people) thought her long frizzy hair was real!
What I love about Viola is that she has taken this whole fake vs. natural hair movement a step further. In her TV life there was that ground-breaking, wig snatching scene on HTGAWM and in her real life she switches from fake hair to natural hair with ease and with no pretence and always looking fab regardless how she chooses to wear it.
And here are eight more reasons why Viola is a phenomenal woman:
Viola is the first woman of colour to be a triple winner of an Oscar, Emmy and Tony. She is a three times Oscar nominee, the only other black actress to achieve that is Olivia Spencer. She is the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series on TV and a has won two Tony awards for her stage work.
Viola has many other awards under her belt including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, three Drama Desk Awards, a Obie Award and a Theatre World Award. She is also the first African American to win five Screen Actors Guild Awards and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from her undergraduate alma mater, Rhode Island College.
Did you see that powerful wig snatching scene in HTGAWM? That is the scene that really brought Viola to my attention. Not only were the emotions she emitted in that scene on point but it also helped to demystify black womens relationship with their hair. This issue is summed up well in The Root.
Besides entertaining us on stage and on the big and small screens, Viola is also (along with her husband) the founder of a production company called JuVee Productions. It is great to see her helping to inspire and support those who follow in her footsteps. JuVee Productions, on their website, say their aim is to become the go-to creative hub where the next generation of filmmakers and artists have the space to craft dynamic stories spanning the broad spectrum of humanity.
In 2012 and 2017, Viola was listed, by Time Magazine, as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Here is her empowering speech delivered at that award.
Viola is a powerful speech maker. Here she is accepting her Oscar for Fences and here she explains why she is worthy of success. She is also an outspoken supporter of rights for black people and women, following in the footsteps of her mother who was an activist during the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of two, Viola was locked up with her mother after she was arrested during a civil rights protest. Here is Viola delivering yet another passionate speech at the Womens March.
Viola, as we well know, is a strong actress. In the film Doubt, starring Meryl Streep. She had only one scene but would go on to win several awards for that one scene. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
Viola was presented with her well deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 5th, January 2017, the 2,597th receiver of the star to be exact! At the presentation she looked fly in a Christian Siriano dress as mentioned in Vogue.
Viola perfectly embodies the words of Dr. Maya Angelou
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman