Viola Davis: From Dreams to EGOT Glory

Viola Davis shares her journey from a small-town girl to EGOT legend, reflecting on career highs, motherhood, and the power of radical self-love.

Viola Davis, the woman, the legend, the EGOT, graced PEOPLE’s cover. In the cover story, she shares intimate details of career-changing memories, moments where she can’t believe it’s her life, how she shows up for her daughter Genesis, and more.

Davis told PEOPLE, ​​“When you grow up in a certain set of circumstances, you no longer see yourself. And that's why you dream big, because it's almost like you're forcing yourself to just believe that something could happen.” During the interview, she reflected about her time as an actress. She became an EGOT and joined a prestigious short list of celebrated artists whose talent knows no bounds. There are only 19 EGOTs, and Davis is one of them.

Being with the publication again felt like a full circle moment for Davis, who was very introspective during the interview. She first covered PEOPLE in 2017 after her history-making Oscar win for her role in “Fences.” To return 7 years later as an EGOT is top-tier talent and that is exactly what Viola Davis possesses.

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Here are some of the meatiest quotes from the interview:

What are your memories of winning your Oscar?

It was like pulling a rabbit out of the hat. That Viola, you dreamed the biggest dream in your life, and you made it happen. And my mom, who's in memory care now, what I remember with this dress - when I put it on, she cried. I remember her crying because I think she felt the same way that I felt. Little country girl from St. Matthews, South Carolina, that she birthed me and she birthed this.

Your daughter is now a teenager. What lessons are you teaching her right now?What I tell my daughter right now is, "Genesis, you are the love of your life. You have to start right now to have a radical love affair with yourself, to be in touch with your inner voice, what you like, what you don't like, what's crossing the boundaries, and you honor that. And through that, that is the seed where everything grows." 

No one ever told me that. No one ever told me that I was the love of my life. I just counted myself out. If I have to be small in order to build up a relationship, I'll make myself small. If I have to sacrifice my needs for others — that's a big one for women, we are considered stronger when we sacrifice our needs. I said, "Genesis, no, do not do that. You are the love of your life, you and you alone."

Check out the full interview.

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