Being branded ugly defined me more than anything, says Viola Davis

Viola Davis said she put on a “mask of bravery” during her years of success, but “really believed” she was ugly after being bullied as a child.

The Oscar-winning actress, 56, told Oprah Winfrey during a Netflix special how she would run home to avoid being abused by school bullies every day.

Davis, who later went on to win top awards for stage and screen, including two Tonys and a Bafta, said, “As soon as that bell rang, I’d run home because I knew the same eight to nine guys would be chasing me — named.” me black, ugly – and they picked up everything they could find on the side of the road: bricks, sticks.

“The level of hatred when they said those words, that’s really the memory that defined me.

“As I went through my life, as much as I put on this mask of bravery and confidence to be this boss woman that people talk about … but inside of me was the damaged little girl who really, really believed she was ugly.” , she wasn’t enough.

“That defined me more than anything.

“I wish it was a different story, but it was so powerful. I made the decision when I was 28 or 29 when I went into therapy that I wanted things to be different.”

Davis grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where she said her family often didn’t have hot water, gas, or electricity, and rats roamed the building.


Viola Davis with the Best Supporting Actress award for Fences at the 89th Academy Awards 2017 (Ian West/PA)

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Davis added, “It was a life of abject poverty, a life of deprivation. The plaster was peeling off the walls, I was always hungry, the plumbing never worked, I never had a phone.

“One of our first apartments was infested with rats, at night you had to cover your ears so you couldn’t hear them eating the pigeons on the roof at night.”

Davis told Winfrey that during the pandemic lockdown she was reflecting on her past to write her memoir Finding Me.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/being-branded-ugly-defined-me-more-than-anything-else-says-viola-davis-41579992.html Being branded ugly defined me more than anything, says Viola Davis

Fry Electronics Team

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