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Oscar Video: Oprah Winfrey Interviews Viola Davis on Success, Isolation, and Acting

Oscar Video: Oprah Winfrey Interviews Viola Davis on Success, Isolation, and Acting

During Oprah’s Oscar Special on Wednesday, Winfrey at her best evoked heartfelt emotion from “The Help” Best Actress nominee Viola Davis. The Tony-winning theater and film actress was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Doubt” in 2008, opposite her 2012 Oscar rival Meryl Streep, who won at the BAFTAs last weekend. (TOH interviewed Davis here.)

Winfrey and Davis discuss the self-esteem issues that come with acting.  Davis tearfully opens up about her midlife crisis during “Doubt” as she learned about the unexpectedly isolating effects of success.

In her Oscar Special, Winfrey also chats with Davis’ “The Help” co-star Octavia Spencer, as well as “Moneyball” nominee Jonah Hill (and his parents).  More clips outlined at NYT’s Carpetbagger.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Viola Davis. She was so eloquent and beautiful. When she spoke of her having low self esteem, she said something that struck a chord with me because I do this a lot. She said something to the effect… "Staying up all night worrying about people who don't love me, what they are saying about me and here there are a slew of people who do love me, I am devaluing them, I am not spending any time with them". So true, I will try to remember these words, everytime I worry about that. Thank you Viola!


I was REALLY impressed with Viola. I think Oprah was impressed too. So articulate and so level headed. She was beautiful. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I DID see her in Doubt and she was impressive. I have just one question: Oprah asked her how it felt to be called the "N" word when she was younger but I don't remember Viola ever saying she WAS called that. Did I miss it? I thought she had a rather healthy and upbeat opinion of white people. Was Oprah putting words in her mouth or did I miss something?

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