Viola Davis has always been one of our favorite actresses to cry along with on-screen in The Help, Fences or maybe even a very intense episode of How to Get Away with Murder. At the 2017 Oscars, a whole auditorium and, let’s be real, the nation ugly-cried along with Davis when she swept up the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in Fences.
Davis has been pegged as the favorite for this category throughout awards season, claiming the Golden Globe and the SAG Award along the way. Tonight, her rewarding journey certainly hit its peak in an acceptance speech that came straight from the heart.
“There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered—and that’s the graveyard,” Davis explained. “People ask me all the time, 'What kind of stories do you want to tell?' And I say, ‘Exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories.’ We are the only profession to celebrate what it means to live a life. So here’s to [Fences playwright/screenwriter] August Wilson, who exhumed—and exalted—ordinary people.”
After delivering the classiest thank you to the original creator of her character and her costar/director Denzel Washington, Davis really stirred up our feels when she thanked her family. First giving a shout-out to her parents and reminiscing about playing with her sister, she really made us weep when she turned her attention to her husband in the crowd, telling him, “I’m so glad that you are the foundation of my life."
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Host Jimmy Kimmel summed it up best when the ceremony returned after a commercial break: “Viola Davis just got nominated for an Emmy for that speech at the Oscars.” True, Jimmy, true.
Here’s to Viola for always inspiring us with her words on-screen and off!