Viola Davis may have won an Oscar on Sunday, but she achieved something much greater than just being recognized for her superb performance in Fences, according to the Washington Post.
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 28, 2017
Viola Davis truly made history. Although no one was surprised by Davis’s win in the Best Supporting Actress category, and though everyone knew that Davis could deliver powerful speeches, this time the actress caught everyone off guard.
As soon as Viola Davis took the stage to thank the Academy, she made everyone in the audience and everyone watching the broadcast at home choke up.
“You know, there is one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered and that’s the graveyard.”
Viola Davis, with visible tears in her eyes, said that she gets tons of questions about “what kind of stories” she wants to tell. And Davis’ answer is to “exhume those bodies” in the graveyard and exhume their stories.
“Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”
My family. Thank you everyone for your love and support! pic.twitter.com/5thsM7y3HT
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 27, 2017
Viola Davis continued, and said she thanks God for becoming an artist, because being an actor is “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”
It’s Viola Davis’s first ever Academy Award win after being previously nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2008’s Doubt and for Best Actress in 2011’s The Help.
This year, Viola Davis delivered a mesmerizing performance in Fences alongside co-star and director Denzel Washington. In the Oscar-nominated film, the actress played Rose Maxson, the role that earned her a Tony Award in a Broadway revival of a play by August Wilson.
After praising Wilson for “exhuming and exalting the ordinary people,” Viola Davis also thanked Washington, who was also nominated this year for Best Actor but lost the nomination to Manchester by the Sea’s Casey Affleck.
In her acceptance speech, Viola Davis called Washington “my captain” and thanked her co-star for “putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God.”
“And they served you well.”
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 19, 2017
Viola Davis’s Oscar win makes her the 23rd member of a group of artists who have won an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar in their lifetime. Not even Davis’s idol and Doubt co-star Meryl Streep has achieved this distinction.
Viola Davis’s Oscar win made her the first African American to become an ETO honoree. Additionally, Davis became the first ever African-American actress to receive three Oscar nominations.
As noted by Entertainment Weekly, Viola Davis needs only a Grammy to become an EGOT honoree. The actress has previously won an Emmy for How to Get Away with Murder in 2015, and she has two Tonys, for the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play version of Fences and for King Hedley II.
Unless Viola Davis has a hidden singing talent or she can play jazz, her best chance of winning a Grammy is through the Spoken Word category. Meaning: Davis should narrate an audiobook with her remarkable voice to win a Grammy.
In fact, Entertainment Weekly has compiled three titles, which Viola Davis would be a perfect audiobook narrator for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, Jesmyn Ward’s Sing Unburied, and any memoir by Viola Davis.
Viola Davis has a reputation for delivering powerful acceptance speeches at awards shows. The actress has a track record for making people in the audience teary-eyed. In 2015, Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama.
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 14, 2017
This year, Viola Davis received her first Golden Globe for her role in Fences. After the Oscars 2017 host Jimmy Kimmel returned to the stage following Davis’s speech, he joked that the actress “just won an Emmy for that speech.”
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]