Viola Davis Matters

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Viola Davis explains her historic Emmys speech to Ellen DeGeneres, host thought the actress might be drunk when she gave her acceptance speech.

When Viola Davis was cast last year to headline ABC’s latest Shonda Rhimes-produced drama, How to Get Away With Murder, she was clear about her motivations in taking the role: Davis wanted to finally be the show.(Credit: theellenshow/Instagram) September 24, 2015- @theellenshow Tomorrow I sit down with the Emmy’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. (It’s @ViolaDavis!) Viola Davis recently appeared on “Ellen” bringing home the Best Actress Award to talk about sleeping with the Emmys trophy and making history.In 1996, when Davis was just beginning to establish a name for herself in the theater, I chose her for my personal award as Best Supporting Actress for the original Broadway production of August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars.” Receiving it was no easy deal. And looks like the actress relied on a little liquor before her acceptance speech and Ellen DeGenes joked that she thought she was drunk at that moment.

When the comedic host asked if there was any preparation for the history-making speech, Davis confessed that “sort of,” continuing, “I did want to mark the fact that it was the first African American to win in the Lead Actress category. Elsewhere” or “Law and Order.” Woodard does a have Supporting Actress Emmy for “Hill Street Blues.” Diversity is best when it comes naturally.

The host claimed, “At first I thought you were drunk, maybe.” Davis, then, admitted that she drank a bit of prosecco while getting ready for the ceremony. She slunk a shot of the liquor as her 5-year-old daughter was trying on her Neil Lane jewelry and assuring her it didn’t matter if she won, as reported by She Wired.

The star also told the host that she was even clueless that she received a standing ovation from the audience because she was distracted by a certain fast food that was just off stage. The only other person who benefited from that opportunity was Asner for “Lou Grant.” Emmy host Andy Samberg noted the Asner connection in his opening monologue, saying Janney is the new Asner and Aduba was the new Asner before Janney was. A good line or two snuck in, possibly the best being about 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders always looking as if his plane arrived late, but most of the patter was lame insider stuff or feeble political comments.

Other recipients in major categories are Julia Louis-Dreyfus deservedly scooping up another Emmy for her role in “Veep,” Peter Dinklage taking home his second Emmy for his excellent work as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones,” which received 12 awards this Emmy year, Jeffrey Tambor getting his second consecutive nod for “Transparent,” and Tony Hale for playing Gary in “Veep.” If it wasn’t for CSN and, perhaps, Sam Katz’s History Making Productions, the local Emmys, which cover the entire state of Pennsylvania while branching to parts of New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware, and West Virginia, would have been primarily a Pittsburgh or Harrisburg affair. Comcast SportsNet earned the most Emmys of any individual station, taking prizes for the run-of-the-schedule shows as well as for documentaries, game play-by-play, and promotions.

Other local awards of note went to Channel 3 for News Excellence, the ironic recipient being former news director Susan Schiller, Channel 3’s Jim Donovan for Best Specialty Reporting, Channel 10 for Best Morning News Broadcast, Channel 10’s Denise Nakato for Best Single Story, Channel 10’s Nefertiti Jaquez for a single story, Channel 12’s esteemed Trudy Brown for her “Friday Arts” series, Channel 12’s Steve Kwasnik for individual editing, Channel 29’s Joyce Evans for health news, and Larry Mendte for news and commentary writer at Delaware’s Channel 2, KJWP-TV. Channel 10’s ability to ably cover Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia this weekend was hampered by a strategically timed strike by the union representing the station’s camera personnel, technicians, and other critical behind-the-scenes staff. Members of IBEW Local 98 negotiated with NBC and Channel 10 executives until Wednesday, two days before the pope’s scheduled arrival in Philadelphia, to vote for a strike they have been warning for weeks would occur if NBC and Channel 10 did not offer an acceptable contract. I think the reason why a lot of actresses of colour have not been recognised in that category is because we haven’t had the opportunity to have lead roles. Union members at CBS’s Channel 3 also threatened a strike, but CBS and local execs must have come an agreement because Channel 3’s personnel was still at work during the 36 hours Channel 3 was on the air during the papal visit.

Channel 12 stalwart Ed Cunningham takes a brief sojourn from retirement to host and conduct interviews with performers and the creative team for the pre-show of Opera Philadelphia’s staging of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” being presented for free on a wide screen this Saturday, on Independence Mall. The performance is of the exact production of “La Traviata” audiences can see live at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music from Friday through Sunday, Oct. 11. I’m always hoping this is just not a fluke — that this becomes the new norm: That it’s no longer a big deal to see a woman of colour in a lead role that doesn’t necessarily scream “black actress.” That we no longer need think pieces about what it means when those shows find a mainstream audience.

Last week, Sirius XM’s The Highway (Channel 56) began playing Binder performing one of her original songs, “Pretty,” which is about being comfortable in your own skin and not exaggerating “flaws” other likely don’t see.

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