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The trio also got a chance to respond to questions they had for each other.

By Marcus Jones
April 06, 2021 at 03:00 PM EDT
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In advance of Hollywood's biggest night, EW's three May cover stars shared what their favorite Oscar memories are.

Of course, it'd be hard to top the memory of actually winning one, but Viola Davis frames her story beautifully, sharing, "2016 when I won, and I got dressed at home, my mom saw me in the red Armani dress that I had on, and she wept. That for me was the best moment."

"When my mom cried, what I saw was that I was her dream," she continues, "I was what she put all of her eggs and apples and money and investment into and she was amazed by what she created. And I'm not saying that because of ego. If you were there, you probably would've seen it too. I was happy to give that to her."

Director Chloé Zhao will be attending her first Academy Awards as a nominee this year. As someone on the precipice of making history as the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Director, and a frontrunner for the win, her favorite Oscar memories are ones of progress. "The first one was when I was in college, and we were all watching in the dorms, it was a women's college, and that was the year Halle Berry and Denzel [Washington] both won for Monster's Ball and Training Day, and we all ran out and screamed and hugged," she says, referencing the 2002 Academy Awards, the only night to ever have two Black actors win the lead actor categories, and the only time there's been a Black Best Actress winner. "I was very hormonal back then," cracks the Nomadland filmmaker. "The other one was when Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain, for Best Director, that meant a lot for me."

Regina King, director of this year's thrice-nominated One Night in Miami…, jokes "It would be the one when I won, if I'm being completely honest." Switching to third person, she reflects on that night in 2019, adding "Yeah, If Beale Street Could Talk. When that girl Regina King won that Oscar, man!"

The three women also took time during their cover shoots to ask each other questions. While Davis reveals to King what situation she'd "consider to be the most miserable experience," King tells Zhao about her search for actors with a command presence, and Zhao closes the loop by explaining to Davis how her film might've impacted tourism to South Dakota.

Watch both videos above to hear the three cover stars' full Oscar memories, and full answers to each other's questions.

For more on the 2021 Oscars race, order the May issue of Entertainment Weekly — with covers featuring Chloé ZhaoViola Davis, and Regina King — or find it on newsstands beginning April 16, and keep up with EW's Awardist online. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW. 

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