Viola Davis on Meryl Streep's Trump speech: 'She's earned the right to say that'
Meryl Streep, the grand dame of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, knew she was going to spark conversation for her pointed commentary about President-elect Donald Trump. According to her pal Viola Davis, who introduced Streep’s Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, the three-time Academy Award winner didn’t tell Davis the details of her speech, but she did provide a crucial hint.
“She told me she was going to piss off some people of so I was bracing for impact. I love it!” Davis said Sunday night. “I feel like anyone who was the mouthpiece of anything progressive, whether it was Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi or whatever, pissed people off.”
Davis added that Streep’s stature in Hollywood gives her words an even great significance.
“She’s earned the right to say that and I think all of us felt a sigh of relief,” says Davis. “Sometimes you need the first person to dive in there and have the courage and the bravery to give a mouthpiece to what we were all feeling.”
“We all know that we are in the midst of change but I think that we as artists are really given permission to give ideas and what people are feeling a voice,” she continued. “At the end of the day, we do what we do to remind people to connect, that we are all in it together.”
Davis, who first met Streep on the set of the 2008 release Doubt, recalled her own reverence for Streep in an emotional introduction that was part thoughtful homage, part cooking tips, all viewed through the prism of an actress who was able to meet her ultimate idol. Davis said the speech just rolled off her tongue.
“It’s been in my heart. It’s been lying dormant,” she says. “It was a love letter.”