Viola Davis is now just as infamous for her incredibly inspiring acceptance speeches as she is for her award-winning acting performances.
The How to Get Away With Murder leading lady proved this once again when she took home the first-ever #SeeHer Award, an honor which recognized her for her work furthering the portrayal of three-dimensional women on screen. Though she started her speech off with a joke, she went into some of the most inspiring words she's delivered yet.
"It's hard to accept being a role model for women when you're trying to lose weight," she joked.
"I've always discovered the heart of my characters by asking, 'Why?' You know, when I was handed Annalise Keating, I said, 'She's sexy, she's mysterious,'" she said. "I'm used to playing women who got to gain 40 pounds and wear an apron. So, I said, 'Oh God, I gotta lose weight. I gotta learn to walk like Kerry Washington in heels. I gotta lose my belly.' And then I asked myself, 'Well, why do I have to do all that?'"
She said it was embracing who she truly is that led to her success in the role, saying, "the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."
"At 10 every Thursday night, you come into my world and you sit with me, my size, my hue, my age, and you sit and you experience," she said. "And I think that's the only power I have as an artist. So, thank you for this award and I do see her — just like I see me."
See her deliver a word, below:
Another amazing speech to add to the list: check!
Watch Viola talk about her approach to playing Harriet Tubman in our exclusive interview, above.