Ellen: Viola Davis “Won’t Back Down” Interview


Viola Davis: Does She Cry All The Time?

Viola Davis is a very talented, Academy Award nominated actress. So why is she so sad all the time? Actually, Ellen pointed out that Viola cries in nearly all of her roles. It shows that she’s an incredible actress, but does that mean that she cries all the time in real life?

No way! Viola said that she is a total “bad-a**” when it comes to crying! She very rarely sheds a tear, not even over a break-up. However, the one time she can cry is when Ellen does something very touching or generous on her show– which is quite often!


Viola Davis: Acting for 25 Years

Ellen: Viola Davis "Won't Back Down" Interview & Segue Institute Gift

Viola Davis discussed her new film, “Won’t Back Down,” her less-than-glamorous early days in show business, and why education matters on Ellen. (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)

Viola Davis became a household name after her incredible turn in the Meryl Streep/Phillip Seymour Hoffman drama Doubt, which earned her an Oscar nomination. However, Viola has been acting for 25 years. She admitted to Ellen that there were plenty of times she considered throwing in the towel and giving up acting completely.

One specific time instance that Viola really considered changing career paths was when she was cast as an opera singer in a one-woman show– and she had never sang a note in her life! She performed in some pretty unconventional places, including in the middle of a basketball court. She was even attacked by a dog in the middle of an aria during one performance.


Viola said that these are great stories now, but only after two Oscar nominations!

Viola Davis: “Won’t Back Down”

Viola Davis is in a new film called Won’t Back DownShe plays a determined teacher who teams up with a single mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to save a failing inner-city school. In real life, Viola is just as passionate about education, because as she says, “it saved her life.” She believes that an education is the most crucial step towards building the American dream.

Viola Davis: Segue Institute in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Viola is also very passionate about helping a charter school in her hometown of Central Falls, Rhode Island, the Segue Institute. Despite its financial woes, it has the highest math scores in the state of Rhode Island. Well, when Ellen heard this, she had to do something. Ellen presented Viola a check for $10,000 for the Segue Institute. What an amazing gift for an amazing cause! And, of course, Viola Davis is an amazing and generous actress.


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