Viola Davis was interviewed in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Show, and once again proved how good she is at being a famous actor. Davis, who began acting for TV and film in her late 20s, has been rightfully drenched in praise for her work as an actor, but something she should also be given credit for is her talent at everything that comes with it. Every speech, every candid moment, every interview—they’re all filled with a perfectly proportioned blend of graciousness, respect, and humor that you simply do not see often in Hollywood. This woman is great at being famous.
Her interview with Cagle is long—it clocks in at almost an hour—but the best moment comes near the end, when Davis discusses working on the short-lived series City of Angels. After praising creator Steven Bochco for casting so many non-white actors in a network series, she mentions that she also looks back fondly on the production because it’s where she met the man who would eventually become her husband, Julius Tennon.
When asked if she remembered the day they first spoke, she said:
“Craft services. I was eating a bagel. Listen, every day was about what was at craft services. That was a time when I wasn’t thinking about no diet, so I was eating a cinnamon raisin bagel with tuna fish on it. If you’ve never had it, it’s absolutely delicious...He came up to me and he had his bag over his shoulder and he was like Hey! because we just did a scene. The only thing I thought was, He’s good looking. He’s really good looking. Then he gave me his card...I was like, A card? I was really not feeling LA...I didn’t call him for six weeks.
I had bad credit at the time. I had anxiety attacks from driving. I had to work out some personal issues first, like finding a place to live. I didn’t want to be that woman who had so many issues going into a relationship.”
She ends with this:
“But I have to say, all the anxiety and the angst and all those things that I had, the minute we started dating—which was the first time I called him—all of that went away...The amount of love and kindness he had, it just transformed me immediately.”
I mean this with absolute sincerity: we are very lucky to have Viola Davis around.
This story has been corrected to clarify that Davis began acting in her late 20s, not 30s.