Viola Davis graces the cover of InStyle magazine and opens up about aging, African-American women in Hollywood and more. The ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ star speaks with her characteristic candor in both the print interview and the behind-the-scenes video.

Viola Davis

Photo: Viola Davis
Credit: PR Photos

The 50-year-old trailblazing star is one of few African-American women in television to have a lead role in a drama series. And as with Kerry Washington of ‘Scandal’ it’s once again thanks to Shonda Rhimes who continues to be a powerhouse in the television world. This time around, crafting the role of Annalise Keating a university professor in Philadelphia.

It was for her portrayal of Keating that Viola Davis recently won an Emmy Award, delivering a powerful acceptance speech which has since gone viral. She said in part, “Let me tell you something: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

In her interview with InStyle, she echoed that same candor, saying, “Unwritten racial casting rules absolutely still exist. I’ve played many best friends, crack-addicted mothers, next-door neighbors, or professionals with no personal lives. It goes back to perception. There is a limitation to how we are seen.”

She also opened up and shared her perspective and wisdom on aging and revealed why she does not fear it. She said, “What’s released me most from the fear of aging is self-awareness.”

She went on to say, “I’ve never determined my value based on my looks or anything physical. I’ve been through a lot in life, and what has gotten me through is strength of character and faith.”

As for her fame these days, Viola Davis said, “I know people always say that I’m a star and a celebrity, but I never feel like one.”

Davis, who has been married to fellow actor Julius Tennon since 2003 has an adopted daughter, Genesis and is stepmother to Tennon’s children from a previous marriage. She opened up about her daily life and how she sees it at variance to the glamour we associate with fame. She said, “Taking care of a 5-year-old, cooking at home, and running to the set when you’ve had four hours of sleep, you don’t feel like a movie star. Then, every once in a while, you put something on that makes you feel cute.”

And, yes, she looks far more than cute on the cover of Instyle, wearing, a glamorous sequinned gown. You can see more of the interview and watch the behind-the-scenes video here and see Viola Davis’ InStyle cover below!