Ep 2: Viola Davis

Season 22 | AIRED: Jan 5 8/7c

Emmy Award-winning Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton welcomes influential thespian Viola Davis to the stage. In anticipation of the revival of Rose Maxson in Fences, the stage and screen actress and producer discusses her greatest performances and achievements. From impoverished beginnings living on welfare to attending Juilliard and ultimately receiving her first Tony for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II, Davis is one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation. Since then, Davis has reached several career milestones including Oscar nominations for her performances in Doubt and The Help. Her groundbreaking Emmy Award win for her portrayal of the iconic Annalise Keating in the television series How to Get Away with Murder marked the first time an African American woman won in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.  In the episode, viewers will learn how Davis challenges herself with each character that she embodies, many that escape and counter Hollywood casting stereotypes. Davis also reveals inspirations throughout her career, and how the casting of Cicely Tyson as her mother in How to Get Away with Murder brought her acting dreams full circle.

An Academy Award-nominated, Tony and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Davis is known for such films as The Help, Doubt, Eat, Pray, Love, Get on Up and Fences, and for her role as the iconic Annalise Keating in the television series How to Get Away with Murder. She has appeared on stage in plays including King Hedley II, Intimate Apparel and Fences. Davis has been named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people and Glamour Magazine’s “Film Actress of the Year” both in 2012. Davis is also the President and CEO of her production company JuVee Productions, along with her husband Julius Tennon.