Viola Davis is a critically-acclaimed actress whose won Emmys, an Oscar and a Tony award. This time, she’s nominated for work she’s done off the screen. Davis received a nomination for Best Audio Book Narration and Storytelling Recording at next year’s Grammy Awards. She got the nod for narrating her recent memoir Finding Me. If she wins, she will officially be an EGOT.
There’s only 17 EGOTS including John Legend, Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg. Legend was the first Black man and the youngest to achieve EGOT status. Goldberg was the first Black woman to do so.
Davis received an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy for her performance in How To Get Away With Murder. She also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2016’s Fences. Davis has three Tony Awards, two for Best Lead Actress and one for Best Featured Actress.
Viola Davis Said Recording Finding Me Was A ‘Vulnerable’ Experience
In an interview with The New York Times, the Woman King star said she reflected about the past and accepted that she can’t change it while recording the audiobook.
“Recording the audio version of Finding Me was a very vulnerable experience,” she said. “I felt I was living through those moments with every word I spoke. It made me question how I remember things. It also made me celebrate what I did remember and what I was able to express. More important it brought me to a very powerful realization. And that is that the past no longer exists. It has no power to hurt me anymore. It’s different from my acting work because the only person I could hide behind was me. There was no other character.”
In her book, she opened up about her father’s alcohol abuse, the domestic violence she witnessed and being sexually abused by her brother. She also described living in crippling poverty with her other five siblings and parents in Rhode Island. Her home was so infested by rats that they ate the faces of her dolls. They often went without heat, electricity and a phone. Her father would leave her mother bloody and also have affairs with multiple women. Davis’ parents often left them unsupervised, leaving her brother to sexually abuse them.
“My three sisters and I… were often left unsupervised with my brother in our apartment – sexual curiosity would cross the line,” Davis wrote. “He would chase us. We would lose. And eventually other inappropriate behavior occurred that had a profound effect.”
After all of this trauma, she wrote that she forgave her parents because they “did the best they could with what they were given.”
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