Viola Davis planned to treat her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony like an ordinary day. No lofty speeches, no tears. Just straightforward.
But as the actress took the mic after accepting the honor Thursday, those plans changed.
"Only thing I could think about is my dad," said Davis, who was the first celebrity to be fêted with a star in 2017. "I wish he were here. He died in 2006 and, um, he would think this is pretty fantastic."
Davis then reflected on her upbringing in Central Falls, R.I., saying, "The only picture I have of myself as a kid in kindergarten is with a little ... sucker and an expression that’s not really a smile, not really a frown, just something. But every time I look at the little girl, I always thought, ‘Oh, that’s a cute outfit but she was always hungry, she was always shy, she was always kind of in the background, but inside she had big dreams bursting.'"
"And the only thing I could think about is that saying, 'What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly,'" she continued. "I cannot believe my life right now … that Meryl Streep spoke at my Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony with my handsome husband (actor Julius Tennon) and a beautiful daughter (Genesis) and my family and my representatives … all I can say is, 'God has blessed my life in abundance.'"
And Davis has blessed audiences with her gift. As her Doubt co-star Meryl Streep told the crowd prior to Davis' acceptance speech, "Viola Davis is possessed. She is. She's possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent. She is, arguably, the most immediate, responsive artist I have ever worked with."
"She’s, like, a sure thing," Streep added, "and her star has been waiting here patiently for 50 years for her."