I love watching Viola Davis’s interviews so much, and she’s especially good on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. They riff off each other and it’s hilarious to see. I highly recommend watching her latest interview with Kimmel, below. I’m going to transcribe my favorite parts but if you want some joy in your morning, watch it. Viola is promoting Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, on Netflix now. She’s getting best actress buzz. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ll be watching it over Christmas break!
Viola cracked me up so much when she talked about her daughter Genesis’s Christmas list. Genesis is ten and wants a lot of things, but it doesn’t matter how much money they have, Viola said she’s not getting most of them. Viola, who grew up in Rhode Island, also said she used to stick her tongue on icy poles in the winter when she was a kid, just like on A Christmas Story! I almost made that the headline because it’s so funny. She has a trick for getting your tongue off though.
She used to put her tongue on cold poles when she was a kid
I loved putting my tongue right onto those cold poles and then your tongue would stick on it in the cold. You know it’s in that it’s in that movie [A Christmas Story]. I put my damn tongue on a cold pole to see if it stuck and then I couldn’t get it off unless I spit on it and I used to love that.
On her daughter wanting a ton of stuff for Christmas
My daughter is ten going on 30. She says ‘mommy I know Santa is the guy they hire at the mall every year who has a big stomach and a white beard’ don’t even play that. This is the first year she made a list. She had things on that list where I had to say ‘let me tell you something OK Genesis. I don’t care how much money you think mommy has 98% of the stuff on this list you’re not gonna get. I don’t care how nice you are, you’re not getting that iphone, you’re not getting that camera with the tripod on it. You’re not getting half the stuff on this list.’ That’s the kind of mommy I am.
I said ‘Do you know how much that iPhone costs? $365. Do you have $365? I’m not spending that on a phone.’
After that Viola talked about the teacher who made a huge difference in her life, her English teacher, Mr. Yates, who was also the drama coach. Viola always remembers the people who helped her when she was a kid! When she was 14 Viola was in a school play and Mr. Yates told her she could make a living being an actress. She said she keeps in touch with him and that Mr. Yates actually came to her wedding. It turns out Viola’s mom invited about 40 extra people to Viola’s wedding. She had a guest list of 85 people but ended up with so many more because her mom would just tell everyone she ran into to come.
How does Viola have such cute stories every time she goes on talk shows? She’s one of the best at that and she makes me happy every time I see her. As for telling Genesis she’s not getting a $365 iPhone, I love that. $365 is the cheapest iPhone there is, that’s the base model iPhone SE! Genesis probably thought she was aiming low and Viola shot that down. So many other parents just let their kids get whatever they want for Christmas if they can afford it, but Viola is teaching Genesis to value money and wait for a reward.
Here’s that interview!
photos via Instagram