Belfast Telegraph

Viola Davis remembers late father at unveiling of star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Fences actress Viola Davis remembered her late father as she was honoured with the first star of 2017 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Davis, 51, received the 2,596th star at the ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard which also saw her close friend and Hollywood A-lister Meryl Streep honour her.

Accepting her star, a tearful Davis said: "The truth is I was going to treat like this any other day. I wasn't going to cry or anything.

"The only thing I can think about is my dad, I wish he were here. He died in 2006 and he would think this was pretty fantastic."

The How To Get Away With Murder actress was joined at the ceremony by her husband, actor and producer Julius Tennon, as well as their young daughter Genesis and a host of her How To Get Away With Murder and Fences co-stars.

Davis, who grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, is currently starring alongside Denzel Washington in Fences, a role which has earned her a Golden Globe nomination in Sunday's upcoming ceremony.

She reminisced about her childhood and referenced a photograph of herself as a young child, saying: "Every time I look at that little girl, I thought, 'That's a cute outfit but she was always hungry, always shy'.

"'She was always in the background but inside she had big dreams bursting and the only thing I can think about is that saying: 'What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly'."

Fighting back tears, she said she could not "believe my life right now", adding: "It's like my life flashing before my eyes and all I can say is God has blessed my life with abundance."

She ended her speech by thanking her fans and colleagues and joked that ahead of awards season which is all about "being the best and putting on tight spanx", it was "great to take time out to just really be with people you love and to embrace your work... my life is good."

Streep, 67, jokingly described Davis as "possessed", saying: "She's possessed with a blazing, incandescent talent. She is arguably the most immediate, responsive artist I have ever worked with. She is so alive, she glistens."

The pair starred together in 2008's Doubt and Davis's role as Mrs Miller earned her a number of nominations, among them a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.

Hailing Davis as a "force of nature", she said: "She'd be completely terrifying if her laugh and heart were not as big and deep as her power."

An emotional Streep ended by saying that there was one thing Davis could not do.

"The thing Viola can't do is be invisible - she just can't do it. She can't fade away... she can't be forgettable. Viola is a sure thing and her star has been waiting patiently (here) for 50 years," she said.

Davis will soon start work on her next film project, the thriller Widows, which is based on the UK TV series of the same name and will be directed by Briton Steve McQueen.

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