April 19, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Magazines

The gallery has also been updated with HQ Digital Scans of Viola Davis in the EW issue of the Oscars. Enjoy!

April 19, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Magazines

Thanks to my friend Jay, I added HQ Digital Scans of W Magazine featuring Viola Davis and her family. Take a look and enjoy!

April 16, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Interviews, News & Articles

As accomplished as Academy Award winner Viola Davis is in the industry, she still feels the unfair comparisons and judgments for the roles she chooses. “It’s so hard to get films made that don’t fit a certain box of how they see us,” Davis tells Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “Inclusivity cannot be a hashtag. You’ve got to write roles for people of color that are culturally specific – that is just as thought out as our white counterparts’ roles, to get to the point of excellence, so that we can be considered for awards. But a lot of time with inclusivity, it’s a second thought. We’re the leftovers.”

Davis broke a record this year when she was nominated by the Academy Awards for best actress in a leading role, becoming the most nominated Black woman in Oscar history (with four nominations in total). She is also just one of two Black women to ever win an Oscar and then return for another nomination – along with her former co-star Octavia Spencer (“The Help”). But this is not something to be celebrated in her eyes. “The only reason I’m breaking records is that no one has been recognized,” she says. “That ‘honor’ is a sort of limited honor. The problem is with the moviemaking business itself, not the awards. You cannot nominate anyone for awards if there are no films being made.”

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

Viola Davis is obsessed with taking baths. She’s so obsessed, in fact, that the L’Oréal Paris spokeswoman applies her entire nighttime skin care routine while soaking. She tells me this casually while on the phone just two weeks before the 2021 Oscars, where she’s up for Best Actress for her role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Though she’s one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Davis doesn’t hold back when it comes to spilling her beauty secrets and sharing some of her wisdom. Perhaps that’s why she’s the face of a major milestone for L’Oréal Paris: the 30th anniversary of the iconic Voluminous Original Mascara.

Ahead of the Academy Awards and her next role, Michelle Obama in Showtime’s The First Lady, we catch up with Davis to chat all things skincare, baths, and beauty.

Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?

My first beauty inspiration was my mom, only because she had the best legs in Central Falls, Rhode Island. And she had the best wigs! She could rock a wig, or she could take it off, which she did a lot. She would whip it off, especially when she was mad at us. But she also wore short hair, she had high cheekbones, and a long neck. Just absolutely beautiful. So she was the first—and people in Central Falls would always say, “Viola, your mom is so beautiful.” And it would just, it would make me so proud. She was a minimalist, but yet she knew how to rock the heels and the miniskirts and still look like her. I didn’t feel like she was trying to look like anyone else. She didn’t have the fashion magazines. It was just her style, her way.

Did you want to emulate her beauty in your own life?

Yes, especially my 20s. I used to wear the platform shoes and miniskirts, because I wanted to show my legs, which were a little bit more muscular than my mom’s. I never quite felt like I achieved it, but she definitely was the prototype.

Over time, I think our perceptions of beauty can change. What is something you once thought was true about beauty that you’ve since changed your mind about?

Oh, boy, a lot of it. I always thought beauty was in youth. But that’s not necessarily the case. I think I was a little different that way. But still, I had a little bit of a perception that beauty was youth. As soon as you started seeing the skin sag and the wrinkles, then you couldn’t see the beauty quite as well. I also always thought beauty was hair, lots of hair. And I also thought beauty was something external, that all of beauty was external. It wasn’t until I got much older that I realized that it was a full package. It’s like the old saying, “Beauty is as beauty does.” The person’s heart, character, and confidence, and understanding their value is what radiates beauty. I would hear people say it, but I never quite believed it until I got older.

Was your new attitude and perception of beauty a gradual change that came with time, or was there one moment when you realized it changed?

It came with time, sort of feeling the nicks and scrapes of life and getting to know myself. Understanding that at some point, it’s not conceited and it’s not egotistical to love oneself. I have a daughter who is very beautiful and very tall, and I am always telling her how beautiful she is. The other day she said, “You know, you’re beautiful too, Mommy.” So I feel like through affirming her, it’s also affirming myself. So that has played a huge role in me understanding beauty, is coming to terms with my own beauty.

Read the full article/interview in our press library.

The name Viola Davis is synonymous with incomparable talent, wisdom that can’t be measured, and of course, great skin. So it’s only right that the star is the latest face of beauty brand powerhouse, L’Oréal, joining its long list of celebrity ambassadors that are declaring “you’re worth it.”

ESSENCE was able to (virtually) sit down with the award-winning television and movie star for a moving conversation about beauty, aging, liberation, and how she’s raising her daughter to know her self-worth from a young age.

The brand L’Oréal is so synonymous with such wonderful memories. What’s your favorite memory with the brand?
: All I know is I know that I was in my twenties, and I just remember being startled looking at the television and it saying “You’re worth it.” I remember it startling me, you know? There’s certain words that when they’re put together, they startle you, and they startled me, especially as a beauty campaign. Back in the day there was like all these beauty campaigns and I remember looking at those women going, “Oh, they’re beautiful or whatever,” but it was L’ Oreal and that whole affirmation of you’re worth it, that literally startled me. I attributed high cheekbones, youth, hair, and fitness to beauty, I never realized that how God made you is worth it. That was the first aha moment.

And you’re a part of the latest campaign for the Age Perfect Midnight Serum, can you tell us what’s so great about the formula?
 I love everything. I love its light richness, I love the packaging, I love how it feels as soon as you put it on your skin. It radiates, there’s no dullness and it adds a brightness to my complexion. I love that my skin looks smoother and it doesn’t feel like there’s there’s anything in there that’s going to cause your skin to break out. There’s no parabens, there’s no mineral oil, there’s none of that. I’ve been telling people, I use it every day and I gave one to my husband because we were using one bottle together and he came to me and said, “I want my own.” He’s been getting so many.

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

April 9, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Interviews, Videos

Regina King, Viola Davis, and Chloé Zhao took time during their cover shoots to ask each other questions. While Davis reveals to King what situation she’d “consider to be the most miserable experience,” King tells Zhao about her search for actors with a command presence, and Zhao closes the loop by explaining to Davis how her film might’ve impacted tourism to South Dakota.

April 8, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Appearances

The gallery has been updated with a few photos of Viola Davis during yesterday’s African American Film Critics Association’s Awards Ceremony.

April 7, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Interviews, Magazines, News & Articles, Photoshoots

Davis’ performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom cements her as the most Oscar-nominated Black actress ever.

All she wanted was a Coca-Cola. In one of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom‘s most telling scenes, the titular singer — played with fierce, queenly self-possession by Viola Davis — demands a cold soda from the white producers so eager to harness her sound on a sweltering Chicago day circa 1927. It would have set them back a nickel at the corner store; if they don’t get right with Ma real quick, it’s about to cost them a lot more.

“From the moment you see her to the moment she leaves the screen, she is hustling for her worth,” Davis says of her real-life muse, once anointed Mother of the Blues and then largely lost to history until Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson reimagined her on stage in 1984. “She is demanding it. She’s not begging for it…. But the deeper sense of that is ‘Value me, see me, I exist. I’m a human being too, I deserve respect.’”

A heart attack would fell Rainey in her 50s, and obscurity swallowed the rest. Now 55, the actress portraying her in director George C. Wolfe’s acclaimed Netflix adaptation hardly foretells the same fate: The winner of an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Tonys, she is the rare Hollywood player whose name evokes both near-universal acclaim and commercial viability. Costars like Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington regularly sing her praises; The New York Times recently named her No. 9 on its list of the 25 best actors working today.

But Davis is also deeply aware of the struggle it took to get there — much of her mainstream success arrived, improbably, after age 40 — and how far the business still has to go when it comes to not only recognizing Black talent but exploring their stories on screen in meaningful, nonreductive ways. “That big, loud, bodacious woman who comes in at the ninth hour and gives her one-line zingers has become a caricature, a stereotype,” Davis says, snapping her fingers in exasperated imitation. “She makes everyone laugh and she walks off, but we don’t know who she is.”

Ultimately, Rainey’s offers only tantalizing hints of Ma’s backstory, with many of the script’s more expansive monologues resting in the hands of her foil and bandmate, the fatefully tempestuous trumpet player Levee — a role for which Chadwick Boseman is almost certainly and deservedly guaranteed a posthumous Academy Award come April 25. Davis is quick to credit Boseman, whom she also appeared with in the 2014 James Brown biopic Get on Up, for the man he was on and off set: “You know what? If I were there to draw a picture of Chadwick, I would have a halo in the back of his head. That’s how absolutely extraordinarily unique and angelic he was, and how pure about his art.”

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

April 5, 2021  •  No Comment  •  Appearances, Videos

Biggest congratulations to Viola for winning a SAG award in her category. Check out the gallery for screenshots from the virtual event and a video of her acceptance speech.