Viola Davis brought the audience to its feet with a moving and powerful acceptance speech at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night.
If you watch How to Get Away With Murder online, you know that Davis was a most deserving winner for the lead role. But that was almost an afterthought …
"When I tell my daughter stories at night, inevitably, a few things happen," Davis said, shouting out her four-year-old. "Number one, I use my imagination."
"I always start with life, and then I build from there. And then the other thing that happens is she always says, ‘Mommy, can you put me in the story?’"
"And you know, it starts from the top up."
Davis called out the lack of diversity in Hollywood, even in 2015, and thanked How to Get Away With Murder‘s producers for taking a chance on her.
Specifically, thinking that the lead role could go to a "mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned, African-American woman who looks like me."
Executive producer and series creator Shonda Rhimes has a history of breaking new ground in that regard, a fact that was not lost on the actress.
Speaking after the SAG Awards win, Davis said she didn’t anticipate making the speech that came out on stage, but also knew what had to be said.
Between Davis’ words and Uzo Aduba’s acceptance speech after winning for Orange is the New Black, there was not a dry eye in the house at the gala.
Well done, ladies. Very well done.