Viola Davis made history at the Emmys on Sunday night as the first black actress ever to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,” she said in her acceptance speech. (Read the full speech here.)
But the How to Get Away with Murder star is definitely not in rest mode, saying after her win that she’s back to work on Monday. “That’s how I digest it, ‘cause I can press the fast-forward button and I know that I’m gonna have to continue to be an actor, continue to make choices, continue to perform in a show every week,” she told ET Online.
Most importantly, the 50-year-old actress also noted that her mom duties never slow down — three-year-old daughter Genesis was already in bed when Davis tried to call her after the show. “She probably fell asleep,” the actress laughed, joking, “You ask how I handle the success, this is it. People are just not impressed by me at home.”
“Hopefully my daughter won’t break [the Emmy],” Davis laughed. “She’ll probably put candy in there.”
We’ve been locked in to see Viola Davis in her first leading role on the small screen from week to week, and can’t wait for the new season which begins this week on ABC. Brilliant, charismatic and seductive, Davis’ character Annalise Keating is smack-dab in the middle of murder, and more murder, with four students at the college where she serves as a law professor.
Davis has us intrigued — from her deep expressions to the delivery of every succinct line, and it’s been this way since the first time we spotted her onscreen. Still, it appears that her star is only beginning to shine so here are some details you may not know about the actress. Take a peek at our six little-known facts about Emmy winner Viola Davis, here.
1. Her role in The Help may have hit closer to home than people may think, as her own mother was a maid, factory worker and a civil rights activist.
2. Davis studied theater at Rhode Island College and went on to attend the Juilliard School in New York City. Although her love for acting started early, she didn’t score her first role until the late 1990s, a bit part in the film, Substance of Fire.
3. In 2001, Davis scored a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her contribution to Broadway’s King Hedley II.
4. In 2012 — post-The Help — she was noted as one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
5. She and her husband, fellow actor Julius Tennon, adopted a daughter named Genesis in 2011. When the baby was 16 months, she was already plotting out her love life. Davis told People magazine she hoped to set Genesis up with Sandra Bullock’s son. “I’d absolutely love to set her up with Louis. That kid is so cute. He’s going to be a bruiser. But let’s try to get a play date in first. If they are ever in the same place, we’ll get them together.”
6. Davis grew up, in her words, abject poverty. “… for God to have brought me to this moment [of winning an Emmy] is kind of miraculous,” Davis marveled to ET. “It’s as miraculous as a tree growing from a seed.”
The Season 2 Premiere of How to Get Away with Murder is Thursday, September 24 10:00 p.m. (ET)