Bafta winner Viola Davis on Meryl Streep: “She is a very gracious human being”

by Hanna Fillingham

Viola Davis walked away with a BAFTA on Sunday night, winning best supporting actress for her role in Fences, Denzel Washington’s adaption of August Wilson’s play about an African-American family. Talking to HELLO! backstage about her well-deserved win, Viola said: “It feels pretty good! It’s not my style to bask in it too much. I’m good with it that I’m going to have a drink, something to eat and then I’m good (laughs)”. The star was quick to praise Hollywood icon and BAFTA nominee, Meryl Streep, who presented her with a Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year.

Viola Davies wins a BAFTA

Viola Davis is thrilled to win a BAFTA

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Reflecting on the kind of person she is, Viola said: “She is the most honorable, the most accessible human being you could possibly want to meet. And that is a lot from someone who is always number one on the call sheet, I have never met anyone who has not been in her presence where she has not made them feel like a star in their own lives. She is very humble, a very gracious human being”. Although Viola had appeared in Fences seven years earlier on Broadway, the actress was quick to admit it still took a lot of hard work, “It was not like riding a bike, it was absolutely terrifying!”, she said.

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Talking in her passionate BAFTA speech about just how much the play meant to her, Viola praised August Wilson: “His mission was to chronical every decade of life that African Americans lived in a decade and he chronicled it by telling about our relationships, our lost dreams, how we wanted to be. I think that often in times with African Americans, if you didn’t make it into a history book, if you aren’t a walking social statement, then the story isn’t worthy to be told. And there are times that I just want to tell people that the fact that I am just a living, breathing person. That in itself should be worthy”.

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