On the list of acclaimed actors of the 21st century, Viola Davis sits up high. And now, the star and author is sitting down with Oprah herself for an exciting new interview: Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event premieres on April 22, only on Netflix.
Davis is gearing up to release her first memoir, Finding Me, later this month. Last year, Oprah Daily exclusively revealed the book cover, featuring a striking close-up shot of Davis. “Sharing my story is incredibly frightening but liberating,” Davis told us at the time. “More importantly, it’s my way of helping people feel less alone in a world that is so isolating. It’s part of the building block of my legacy.”
This memoir is one of many topics Oprah and Davis will cover in Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event, which the duo filmed on Oprah’s Maui porch. They will discuss Davis’s memories of the disturbing abuse and pain she endured while growing up, and her journey of healing—and forgiving—including how she has had to “give up hope that the past could be different” in order to move on. Finally, Davis will share with Oprah the ways in which she manifested her current happiness.
Davis, of course, has an extensive list of accolades that stretch far beyond writer. After winning an Academy Award for her performance in the 2016 film Fences, she became the first Black performer to achieve the Triple Crown of acting—a win that combines an Emmy, a Tony, and an Oscar. She also holds three other Oscar nominations, making her the most nominated woman of color yet. Davis has also earned another Tony, a Golden Globe, and several Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Off-screen, she has become a beloved figure for the humanitarian work she has done toward supporting women of color, promoting women’s rights, and ending childhood hunger. The latter is a cause close to Davis’s heart: Before the starring roles and status as a Hollywood icon, Davis grew up in immense poverty. In the upcoming Netflix special, Davis talks about her impoverished childhood—and the determination it has taken to reach the heights she has achieved, often by portraying formidable women who exude power, from her starring role in 2020’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom to her upcoming portrayal of Michelle Obama in the Showtime series The First Lady, which will begin airing on April 17.