Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Viola Davis

I remember sitting in a Broadway theater absolutely mesmerized by Viola Davis' performance as Tonya in August Wilson's play King Hedley II, for which she won her first Tony and Drama Desk awards. I have been consuming a diet of her extraordinary work ever since.

Her life tells a story of personal and professional excellence. Viola, 46, has given her stage and screen characters true presence, depth and authenticity because of her uncompromising real-life character. She is a serious and soul-stirring actress, and her rich body of work represents the full range of our humanity.

As I watch Viola's career soar, I marvel at her strength, stamina and amazing spirit, which I believe comes from her faith in the Almighty. She has taken an opportunity not just to set a standard but to redefine it.

Her recent Oscar nomination for Best Actress in The Help is a beacon for other aspiring actresses. I was privileged to work on this film and humbled that Viola believes my career has been a benchmark for hers. This acknowledgment speaks to the richness of her soul and how she has carried out her life as a mother, wife and actress. She affords me great hope for the future.

Tyson is an Oscar-nominated American actress