Viola Davis is an amazing speech-giver. We know this.
But the Fences actress blew us all away with her acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2017 Oscars. I mean, wow. As Jimmy Kimmel quipped right after: "I don't know if anyone's going to be able to make a speech after that."
Davis won in one of the toughest categories of the night — she was up against Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, and Michelle Williams for Manchester By The Sea. But her speech was powerful, gracious, moving and beautiful. Just like Viola herself.
Read the entire speech below:
"Thank you Academy. You know, there's one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that's the graveyard. People ask me all the time: 'What kind of stories do you want to tell Viola?' And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big, and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist and thank god I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.
So here's to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people. And to Bron Pictures, Paramount, Macro. Todd Black, Molly Allen, Scott Rudin for being cheerleaders for a movie that is about people, and words, and life and forgiveness and grace. And to Mykel T. Williamson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo, Saniyya Sidney for being the most wonderful artists I've ever worked with. And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington.
Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well. And to Dan, and May Alice Davis, who were and are the center of my universe. The people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose. My parents — I'm so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sister Dolores, who's here, who played Jaji and Jaja with me. We were rich white women in the tea party games. Thank you for the imagination. And to my husband and my daughter. My heart. You and Genesis, you teach me every day how to live, how to love. I'm so glad that you are the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Academy, thank you."
This is Viola Davis' first Oscar, and third nomination. She only needs a Grammy to join the EGOT club. Slay, girl!