Viola Davis: My greatest strength is my authenticity

Viola Davis: My greatest strength is my authenticity

Viola Davis believes her “greatest strength” is her “authenticity”, as she admits her “anxiety level goes up” whenever she isn’t being true to herself.

The 55-year-old actress has said her “anxiety level goes up” whenever she isn’t being true to herself, and thinks she’s stronger as a person when she isn’t trying to “channel some other being”.

She said: “I will say that I think my greatest source of strength is my authenticity. If I try to channel some other being, I get lost.

“That’s when my anxiety level goes up. Growing up in Central Falls as the only kinky-haired chocolate-brown girl, I always was trying to channel the girls who had the Farrah Fawcett look.

“It had disastrous results. So the only thing I can do is channel my authenticity. That is really a powerful tool because we spend our entire lives trying to get there. If you are projecting that, that’s what people are attracted to.”

And the “Fences” star is trying to make sure nine-year-old daughter Genesis – whom she has with her husband Julius Tennon – is authentic to herself too, whilst also ensuring the youngster knows that people “have to be kind”.

She added: “The only thing I can control in life is what I put into it. That’s the only thing I can do with Genesis.

“Teach her that you still have to be kind, you still have to be empathetic. That that’s going to be a part of your legacy.

“You have no idea whose life you can shift. And at the same time, even someone who doesn’t share your belief system could be a friend. That is the complexity of life.”

Viola also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement, as she said the fight for equal rights has “always been happening”, but admitted people have just “decided to wake up” in the last few months.

Speaking to InStyle magazine, she said: “In terms of Black Lives Matter, I am who I always am.

“What’s happening is what has always been happening. We just decided to wake up. How have I been able to process it?

“I have days when I fail miserably. And that’s when I need my two or three glasses of wine. But I’m trying not to lose hope in humanity.”

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