This conversation with Will Smith, according to Viola Davis, altered her outlook on life.
Viola Davis reveals the good, the terrible, and the ugly in her new autobiography, Finding Me. She describes a childhood marred by poverty and abuse, which she has carried into maturity. In one section of the book, Davis describes how a conversation with Will Smith altered her perspective on life.

The ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ actress claims she was unable to escape her traumatic upbringing.
Davis writes about her time spent filming Suicide Squad alongside Smith. During a pause in production, the Oscar-winning actor reportedly asked her, “Viola, who are you?” Her reply altered everything.

She told Smith, “Look, I’ll always be that 15-year-old boy whose fiancée dumped him.” “That will always describe me. So, who are you?”
Afterwards, she states that she realised she needed to alter her self-perception. According to USA Today, she writes, “There I was, a working actress with steady gigs, Broadway credits, numerous industry awards, and a reputation for bringing professionalism and excellence to any project.” “Damn, Oprah recognised me. Yet, as I conversed with Will Smith, I was still the fearful Black girl from third grade.”

In a recent Netflix interview special with Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis recalls being bullied by classmates.
In Rhode Island, Davis grew up in a large, indigent family. She revealed to Oprah that she frequently attended school dishevelled, malnourished, and filthy. The students in her class were cruel.

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In the book, she writes, “eight or nine white males in my class made it a daily, end-of-the-day ritual to chase me like dogs hunting prey.”
She learned to verbally and physically fight back eventually. She was, however, traumatised for the majority of her adult life.

View an interview with Oprah below:

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