If I could watch a new Viola Davis interview once a week I would be so happy. Maybe I should just try to save them for when I need a pick-me-up. Viola was on Jimmy Kimmel Live when she talked about so many fun topics: wearing sneakers to the Emmys, how she’s intimidated by her upcoming role as Michelle Obama on the Showtime series First Ladies, wearing a fat suit for her new film, and failing her driver’s test three times! She didn’t fail it three times initially, she had already had a driver’s license but let it lapse because she lived in New York City and didn’t need it. Then when she wanted a license again it was a very hard hurdle to pass.
On wearing sneakers to the Emmys
My husband calls me Frank [because I] walk like Frankenstein [in heels]. I knew I had to present so I thought I was going to hobble to the podium, but then I found out I had to walk through the presentation and I said ‘oh hell no,’ I would only do it if I could wear my sneakers. I did not wear the sneakers on the red carpet because I did not want to insult Stuart Weitzman who made the shoes.
How she finally passed the driver’s test on the fourth try
I failed my driving test three times. I succeeded my fourth time and I hugged and kissed the driving instructor and I cried, snot dripping crying. I was 32 years old. I had it at 21 but I lived in New York and it expired. Then I came to California. I took two tests in California, one in Rhode Island, then in Staten Island. I was praying and when I was done he said ‘you passed’ and I grabbed him and kissed him on the side of his lips.
On playing Michelle Obama
I’m terrified. I don’t care what else I’ve done in my life. I’ve won an Emmy, an Oscar, two Tonys but if I mess this up this is going to be the defining moment in my life. I don’t want to make my people mad.
On wearing a fat suit for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix with Denzel Washington and Chadwick Boseman
I loved [wearing a fat suit]. I told them that I wanted really big titties, but I wanted to look like the women I grew up with, like my Aunt Joyce, who was really beautiful but her titties hung down to her waist. I was so excited explaining it, ‘I want my tits to hang down to my waist and I want a big ass!’
[From Jimmy Kimmel Live via YouTube]
Viola was adorable when she got excited about wearing her fat suit, that’s about 5 minutes into the video below. I had to take my driver’s test again in my late 30s as I had let my US state license lapse after moving abroad. I studied for the written test and that was a little intimidating honestly. I got a couple of questions wrong. The driving part wasn’t bad because they didn’t even make me parallel park! I had to parallel park at 17 when I took it, but in my rural area they only made me pull into a parking space, which I thought was too easy. As for Viola, I like how she admitted that she took the driver’s test in three different states looking to pass. That’s not something that’s easy to admit.
As for playing Michelle Obama, I get why she’s nervous about it because Michelle is everything, she didn’t put a foot wrong, but don’t put that much pressure on yourself! Focus on nailing it, not on NOT screwing it up. (I need to tell myself this all the time.) Viola is the perfect person to play MObama, she’s an incredible actress.
I didn’t realize she was just a Grammy away from an EGOT. I hope she makes music so that can happen for her! Also, in case you didn’t see Viola walking across the Emmy’s stage in her sneakers like a boss, I taped that.
— celebitchy (@celebitchy) September 23, 2019
Here’s her interview!