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“I admire anyone who doesn’t have it easy," says Viola Davis. "When you don’t have it easy you have to pull on something within yourself that can’t be explained."

Deena Campbell
Mar, 01, 2016

It’s hard to imagine that a successful actress like Viola Davis has a list of women of whom she looks up to and regards with high favor. For Davis, her catalog of Hollywood icons can be found within her own circle—actresses who are disciplined and work hard for everything they have.

“Cicely Tyson is one of my icons,” says Davis. “The woman is 92-years-old and you should see how she works. Her diet, discipline and joy for life are unparalleled.”

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Others on her list include Oprah, Angela Bassett, Aisha Tyler, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. “I know what these women have to face on a daily basis in a culture that sometimes wants to limit us and put us in a box,” says Davis. “I admire anyone who doesn’t have it easy. When you don’t have it easy you have to pull on something within yourself that can’t be explained."

Indeed, Viola. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.