Viola Davis On Dealing With Fame: ‘I Realized I’m Not Living For Significance And Legacy’

Viola Davis is opening up about fame while getting older.

The actress, 53, who stars on The Hollywood Reporters annual Women in Entertainment issue, says as she’s matured the little things don’t bother her as much.

RELATED: Viola Davis Went On A Bender 2 Days Into A 28-Day Cleanse – And Who Can Blame Her?

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet
Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet

“Now, at 53, I’m picking out what the pieces are,” she told the mag. “Literally. For instance, just an example, I’ve gained weight. Now, listen, I’m not a skinny Minnie. I’ve never been a skinny Minnie. I’m a yo-yo dieter. I’m always weighing myself. I always go to bed in a panic that I’m really heavy, I’m not pretty, I’m not this, I’m not that. But I don’t care about being pretty, Brené! I never cared about being pretty. I came to L.A., and all of a sudden, I care about being pretty because I feel like that is my way of being accepted into a larger community, coming from poverty, coming from a past of invisibility. Now, it’s like, I don’t care about that! And once I decided I didn’t care about that, I feel pretty good! I feel pretty good! It’s lightened my load.”

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet
Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet

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But with ignoring those little things, Davis realized other issues keep her up at night, “I had the Oscar, I have two Tonys, I have the Emmy, I have a big house, and still — bam — unfulfilling. Then I realized it’s because I’m not living for significance and legacy. And this is a big one, and this sort of hurts a little bit: I’m finally admitting to myself that a lot of the jobs I’ve taken in the past, because I knew that they would further my career, have been things that I have not been proud of. They put more money in the bank, they raised my status, but at night they keep me up.”

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet
Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet

And now that the climate has changed in Hollywood, Davis says the way she presents herself has changed, “Now, I don’t have to walk into the room like a dude, and have a pretend penis and sling it on the table and say, ‘I’m in the room now. You need to freaking listen to me.’ I can come exactly how I am and I feel that my story, my understanding of people, my experiences, my vulnerability, my need to even embrace people, all of my feminine energy, is going to make me powerful.”

Read more from Davis here.

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