Viola Davis has compared not winning an Oscar, when tipped as the favourite, to “falling” from a 100-story building.
The 51-year-old star has landed her third Academy Award nomination for her performance in drama Fences this year (17) and is battling it out against Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and her The Help co-star Octavia Spencer in the best supporting actress category. She’s hotly anticipated to emerge successful at the ceremony on 26 February (17), however she isn’t getting her hopes up after previously failing to scoop best actress for The Help in 2012 and best supporting actress for Doubt in 2009.
“You know I’ve been the odds-on-favourite to win before and did not? And it’s devastating,” she exclaimed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during a chat with the upcoming Oscars' host. “Yes it makes it worse! You’re sitting there and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m the odds-on favourite, OK,’ and then your name is not called. It’s like falling from a 100-story building as opposed to if you know you’re losing it’s like falling from a one-story building. I write (my acceptance speeches) Jimmy, they’re off-the-cuff. You want me to help you for (the) Oscars?”
Viola has already won a Golden Globe and a British Film Academy award for her role in Fences as Rose Maxson, the wife of waste collector Troy (Denzel Washington) whose bitterness on missing out on a career as a baseball player drives the story. Both stars played the characters on stage too and Denzel also helms the film adaptation.
In one emotionally wrought scene between the onscreen couple, Rose declares she’s given up 18 years of her life to support Troy – even when he spent time in jail. What caught people’s eyes most though is Viola’s runny nose as she delivers the powerful lines.
“That’s an ‘I am woman hear me roar,’” she commented on the scene. “You know, that was my snot – everyone talks about my snot and it’s got to the point where I’m like, my nose runs when I cry. I don’t want to spend half the scene just going that like (mimics wiping nose with hand). But listen, after 23 takes, I had very clear nasal passages.”