Viola Davis has won her first ever Golden Globe.
“It’s not every day that Hollywood thinks of translating a play to screen,” she said in her acceptance speech. “It doesn’t scream ‘moneymaker.’ But it does scream ‘art.’ It does scream ‘heart.'”
After receiving her award, Davis elaborated backstage in the press room about the movie adaptation, calling it “very natural.”
“Very seldom does the average person get their due, especially with people of color. It’s always biopics…it’s always someone who did something tremendous in life that changed the scope of our country,” Davis explained. “But I also like the stories of the smaller people. I think that it encapsulates time. I think that it’s universal. And inclusive, and that’s what August did, and all of that, it just felt like a very natural fluid movement to bring it to the screen.”
A follow-up question extended that thought, turning the topic to President-elect Donald Trump and asking her what can be done to make sure the social progress that’s been made doesn’t roll back.
“I will, believe it or not, remove Trump from the equation because I feel that it’s bigger than him. I believe that it is our responsibility to uphold what it is to be an American, and what America is about. And the true meaning of what it means to pursue the American dream,” she said. “I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation but I think that we’ve fallen short a lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system. So then what does that say about us? And I think that — if you answer that question — I think that that says it all.”
Davis previously won a Tony Award for the 2010 stage adaptation of Wilson’s play, and she reprises her role as Rose, the put-upon wife of an aging garbage man (Denzel Washington, who also directed) in 1950s Pennsylvania.
“She’s a woman who sacrificed a huge part of her dreams, her needs, and her desires to make her family work,” Davis told EW in December. “And when everything comes crashing down, her response, her fight, is every woman’s fight. There’s nothing that she does in this piece that is not relatable.”
Davis has long been seen as a frontrunner in the best supporting actress Oscar race, and her Golden Globe win suggests that an Academy Award win might be in the future. She beat out fellow nominees Naomie Harris in Moonlight, Nicole Kidman in Lion, Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea.
Click here to see the complete list of winners at the 2017 Golden Globes.