Oscars 2012: Viola Davis’ ‘miraculous and amazing’ career path

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For lead actress Oscar nominee Viola Davis, being awake for the early morning announcement was just a matter of routine. ‘Sleep is a novelty lately. I have an 18-month-old at home,’ says the weary but happy actress, who played a maid finding her voice amid the racial oppression of the 1960s South.

Was hearing your name being called surreal?


‘It always is. When I see my face anywhere, when I see my name being mentioned, it’s always surreal. It’s unimaginable. When I see my path, in the constant retelling of my story, I realize how absolutely miraculous and amazing it is that I got to this point. I come from a town that’s a square mile with 18,000 people in it. I performed in basements, on basketball courts, for an audience of one, and I was just so happy and content doing that, never knowing that this was where the path was leading me.’

What do the other nominations for ‘The Help’ mean for you?

‘I’m so proud of everybody. It truly was hard work, dedication, lack of ego. Knowing that the expectations walking in were so high. It’s such a beloved book and really kind of dense in terms of how do you pull it off. How do you strike that balance between pathos and humor, about a time in American history that was so violent? How do you pull it off? To me, this proves it was successful and that’s always good to know as an actor.’

What are you going to do to celebrate?

‘No. 1 on the list would be sleep. And maybe if I could get a really fabulous chocolate dessert and a Jacuzzi, that would be good.’



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