You might know Viola Davis from one of her iconic films, or her impressive producing repertoire. One thing you might not know about the A list celeb is that she was diagnosed with prediabetes. In fact, roughly one third of American adults have prediabetes and might not even know it.
Prediabetes reflects an elevated blood sugar level that is still below the level of type 2 diabetes, but it can increase your diabetes risk by 50%. Instead of backing down, Davis decided to become an advocate for those with prediabetes and narrated the diabetes-focused documentary A Touch of Sugar. We caught up with Davis about her relationship to diabetes, her diagnosis and what she’s learned through her advocacy.
What is your family’s or your relationship to diabetes?
I’m one of many people who have a family history of diabetes. My two sisters have type 2 diabetes. My great-aunt had diabetes, and my paternal grandmother died from diabetes. I myself was diagnosed with prediabetes a year and a half ago. So it is very much in my genes. I know that my story is similar to a lot of people’s stories. And it’s one of the motivating factors behind me [speaking up].
When I was young, the story was you just got [diabetes]—you got “the suga’. ” And then once you got it, you just lived with it until you weren’t living anymore. There wasn’t any information [about managing diabetes], nobody practiced self-care. I was born in St. Matthew, South Carolina, so our staple foods were cornbread, the rice, the fried foods—fried chicken with all the flour on it. Eating cornstarch—that was a big thing in the South, you ate cornstarch right out of the box. And that’s just what we did. Now, with this generation, the narrative is different—but mixed with a little of the sameness. Because for me, I always say, “I got busy.” I got busy and stopped really paying attention [to my health].
Talk about the impact your diagnosis had on you.
When I was diagnosed with prediabetes, I woke up. It made me feel less invincible, which I actually think is a good thing. I already understood that I was predisposed, but I always thought I was going to be the family member that was different. I don’t eat a lot of sugar. If I eat sugar, I eat fruit. But I didn’t know that it’s way more complicated than that. So when I went in and my doctor did the A1C test, that’s when [I found out my blood sugar] was elevated. That reading was a slap in the face. I felt that I was already a tiny bit vigilant, but I became hyper vigilant, which is harder to do at 63.
Let’s talk about the documentary you narrated, A Touch of Sugar. What was the experience like for you?
There are so many personal testimonies in this documentary. I think that by the time the film ends, the best part is that [everyone interviewed has] hope. Hope that there are advocates out there helping them to manage and live with the disease. I wish so many of my family members understood that. That wasn’t even a part of the conversation back in the day. Nobody ever talked about food, nobody ever talked about weight, no one ever talked about exercise. Nobody ever talked about going to the doctor. They just talked about the suga’. But now there’s information out there. It’s not just this aloneness and silence that comes with the disease, someone just diagnosing you and giving you a pamphlet. Now there’s hope and resiliency.
What do you hope people learn from your story?
Once you speak up and share your story, and you let people know that they’re not alone, then [they] realize that there’s a life preserver out there for them. So, they know what to do if they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. But they only know that if you open your mouth and offer support. When we’re actually bold enough to have a call to action and brave enough to share, that’s when change has come.
The gallery has been updated with HQ photos of Viola Davis at the HempHera Kosmetikos Pre-Emmy Luxury Lounge. Enjoy!
The gallery has been updated with over 100 HD screencaptures of Viola Davis in “Antwone Fisher”, enjoy!
The touching story of a sailor (Derek Luke) who, prone to violent outbursts, is sent to a naval psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood. Through the guidance of his new doctor, he confronts his painful past and begins a quest to find the family he never knew.
The gallery has been updated with over 100 HD screencaptures of Viola Davis in “The Pentagon Wars”, enjoy!
An Air Force colonel threatens to reveal the truth behind the military’s $14 billion investment in a transport vehicle.
Through Viola Davis’ social accounts I learned about her speech at the Loyola Marymount University Commencement Ceremony. Not many photos can be found but I found a few MQ ones.
Also through the Loyola Marymount University youtube account you can watch the whole ceremony and her speech at around 2:31:53.
The gallery has been updated with screencaptures of Viola Davis from all 4 tv movie Saga of Jesse Stone. Enjoy!
If there’s one woman in Hollywood who will always leave you with a good word and an inspirational story it’s Viola Davis. Whether sharing her experiences growing up poor in Rhode Island or the discrimination she’s faced as a Black woman in Hollywood, Davis has always been an open book and now she’s releasing her own.
Today, HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced acquisition of the Academy Award-winning actress’s memoir Finding Me. Set to be released April 19, 2022, the book will be published in partnership with Ebony Magazine Publishing.
Described as “a true hero’s journey,” the novel will span the 55-year-old’s life from her childhood in Central Falls to her present-day career as a philanthropist, Tony Award and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress, and CEO/CoFounder of JuVee Productions. And it will tell her story of overcoming obstacles to now become the most nominated Black actress in the history of the Academy Awards.
“I’m an artist because there’s no separation from me and every human being that has passed through the world,” Davis writes in the book. “I have a great deal of compassion for other people, but mostly for myself.”
The LA Philarmonic opened their Summer Season with Viola Davis on stage and what a night. There’s not many photos around and I haven’t yet found a video, but a few came from Viola herself. Enjoy!
Finally found a digital copy of the Empire issue with “The Suicide Squad” multiple-covers. You can see them all on their site and in our gallery find the scans.
Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis will be the keynote speaker at Loyola Marymount University’s 109th commencement next month at SoFi Stadium.
LMU’s undergraduate, graduate and LMU Loyola Law School Classes of
2020 and 2021 will be recognized at the July 31 ceremony.
“Ms. Davis’ journey as actor and activist — filled with integrity and purpose — is one that we are eager to share with our students, faculty and LMU community, for it resonates with our mission and elevates our vision as a university with global reach and impact,” said LMU President Timothy Law Snyder.
Davis is a member of the elite group of actors who have achieved the triple-crown of acting — Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards. She’s also the most-nominated Black female actor in Academy Award history.
Most recently, Davis was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award and nominated for an Academy Award for her lead role in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Davis became the first Black performer to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annalise Keating on the ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, founded JuVee Productions, which develops and produces entertainment content with an emphasis on narratives from a diverse range of emerging and established voices.
Davis is a graduate of Rhode Island College and The Julliard School, which both have awarded the actress honorary doctorate degrees.