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Viola Davis On When A Marriage Really Begins (Hint: It's Not At The Altar)

The Academy Award winning actress gets candid about the work it really takes to make it to happily ever after.


When growing up, most little girls dream about a big beautiful wedding, with the white dress, the delicious cake and swapping vows with a handsome groom. Not many, at a young age when these fantasies of a happily ever after begin to manifest, think about the work that comes after.

In the final episode of OWN’s Black Love Doc, Viola Davis discusses the moment she believes that a marriage truly begins, and here’s a clue: it’s not at the altar.

“I remember telling a friend of mine who was about to get married,” the Academy Award winning actress recalled. “I said, ‘your marriage doesn’t start when you say ‘I do,’ your marriage starts when you look over at your partner and you want to kill ’em, you’re looking at them for seconds, sometimes minutes thinking I cannot believe I married this human being they are driving me crazy and then the next minute you say I love them more than anything and I’m sticking it.'”

The How To Get Away with Murder star and her husband, fellow actor and JuVee Productions co-founder Julius Tennon, married in 2003 and one of the biggest lessons she’s learned throughout is that the work done day-by-day to preserve the union is of the utmost importance. 

“One of the things that I’ve learned about marriage is that it’s the everyday. People don’t always marry the everyday,” Davis added. “They marry the kind of now, kind of wow, then it gets to the every single day—the going to bed, the waking up, the getting the groceries, taking out the garbage and loving each other through that.”

The final episode of Black Love Doc airs on OWN Saturday at 9 p.m.


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