Viola Davis: “It’s Been a Battle” Since Oscar Nominations

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Viola_DavisBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Viola Davis has been nominated for an Oscar twice. When she was nominated for her role in the movie The Help, it seemed almost certain that she would win but she didn’t. Now that she has gone from the big screen to television, she has become a household name and there is no denying her amazing talent. The star of How to Get Away With Murder talked to EW about her career and her experience as a Black woman, in her 40s, trying to thrive as an actress in an industry that favors young “classically beautiful” women.

Says, Davis,

“There’s the reality of being an actor, especially after two Academy Award nominations, and there’s the fantasy. People oversimplify it by saying, start a production company, get your own stuff going on…as if it’s that easy.
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I’ve had a production company for years. We have great projects coming up, but it’s been a battle, ok? At the same time, you have to stay relevant because you have to be bankable to the foreign market.”

The talented actress says that when the opportunity to take the lead role in How to Get Away With Murder came along, she had an “aha!” moment. She says,

“I knew it would have a great time slot, and I would be a lead in a TV show. I’d get to play a role that’s sexualized, messy, all those of things I never get to play. And at the same time, I can be relevant.”

Davis also discussed problems that celebrities have. Because those are problems reserved for the rich and famous, she referred to them as  “princess problems” like having the paparazzi follow you to Target or having to get naked in front of a handsome man, because that is what the role calls for.

Life Balance Lesson: Make Your OWN Money While You’re Getting Paid

The excellent money-making lesson that Viola Davis demonstrates for women who want to make money on their own terms is that a lot of times you have to start your own company while you’re employed. Davis mentions that she has had her own production company for years but she continues to act in mainstream movies and television. This is a great strategy because she can continue to fund her own company with her Hollywood paychecks without the added pressure of trying to get her company to also pay all her bills and living expenses.

How this translates for “normal” women is that when you’re building your own business, it is best to start when you are employed and then only quit your job when you have adequately funded your business and have gotten it up and running. It may even be a good idea to also work part-time, once again, to take the pressure off of the business so that you don’t expect it to pay your bills and living expenses too soon. When a business is at the beginning stages, it is best to use as much of the funds as it generates to build it, grow it and market the products and services.

Nomalanga is a Life Balance Expert. Her speaking and coaching programs help busy women who struggle to balance Marriage, Motherhood and Money-Making™.  She is an avid blogger and a sought after instructor and speaker.