Oprah Winfrey and Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis discussed her new memoir, Finding Me in a Netflix special airing on April 22.
During the candid interview, Davis shares some of her childhood experiences with unimaginable poverty, disturbing abuse and “all the things that cause you pain.” She also said that “giving up hope that the past could be different” has brought her peace, forgiveness, and a sense of self. The actress further explains how she manifested the love in her life and what it took to become one of the most celebrated and talented entertainers of this generation.
In this exclusive clip, Davis talks about her process when executing a role, and how important self-perception is, along with how other people see us.
“I think everybody moves through life fighting to be seen,” the Juilliard graduate stated. “Sometimes even by themselves, to themselves.”
“The bravery for an actor is to look at a moment – I did it with How To Get Away With Murder – I said: ‘Listen, I’m getting ready for bed, and my husband is cheating on me; I can make a choice in this moment, of doing the ‘TV thing’ which is keeping my beautiful hair weave wig, and makeup, and just turnaround and give him that one line zinger; or I can inject something in here,” she added. “Something that every woman sitting there on their couch with their retainers, and their rollers, with no makeup [and socks] that can look at this and somehow feel some level of connection to this story.”
“So, let me take the wig off; let me take the makeup off,” Davis concluded. “Because in doing that, what I’m presenting you with is not the character Annalise – but the woman that is Annalise.”
Produced by Harpo from executive producers Tara Montgomery and Terry Wood, with Brian Piotrowicz serving as co-executive producer, Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event, will air on Netflix on April 22, followed by the release of Finding Me, on April 26.