Viola Davis says she struggled to process ‘pain and suffering’ of virus pandemic

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The Oscar and Tony-winning actress says that like so many, she had a hard time dealing with the quarantine

Thanks to the COVID-19, 2020 has been a humbling year even for the strongest amongst us. Now in a new interview with InStyle, Hollywood powerhouse Viola Davis opens up about how she coped during the shutdown.

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“I didn’t do well at first,” confesses the Oscar and Tony winner. “I know a lot of people felt great with it. I did feel great, in terms of I don’t like working so much. Nowadays, being a woman is juggling motherhood, being a wife, cooking, and then being the CEO and knowing how to optimize your business. I don’t like working like that. It drives me completely insane. So the time off was wonderful, but I’m an empath. I don’t know how to channel the pain and suffering that other people are going through and say, “But I feel great!” It was very difficult for me to process what was happening.”

Davis has also been impacted by the nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, but the actress points out that protest is nothing new.

Viola Davis COVID-19 actress thegrio.com
Viola Davis joins LOréal Paris to celebrate the launch of Age Perfect Cosmetics on March 03, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L’Oréal Paris )

“In terms of Black Lives Matter, I am who I always am. What’s happening is what has always been happening,” notes the 55-year-old. “We just decided to wake up. How have I been able to process it? I have days when I fail miserably. And that’s when I need my two or three glasses of wine. But I’m trying not to lose hope in humanity. The only thing I can control in life is what I put into it. That’s the only thing I can do with [her daughter] Genesis. Teach her that you still have to be kind, you still have to be empathetic. That that’s going to be a part of your legacy. You have no idea whose life you can shift. And at the same time, even someone who doesn’t share your belief system could be a friend. That is the complexity of life.”

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When asked about Chadwick Boseman, who played his last role as her co-star in Netflix’s upcoming Ma Rainey‘s Black Bottom, she reflects, “He was a beautiful man and a great artist. It’s like what Issa Rae said: He was ours as African-Americans. He was someone who had a quality that very few have today, whether young or old, which is a total commitment to the art form of acting.”

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