Viola Davis gave a masterclass in the stirring Oscars speech after winning the Best Supporting Actress gong for Fences.
The 51-year-old actress, whose other big 2016 film Suicide Squad has also bagged a gong, did not go for a political message, opting instead for an impassioned reflection on the art of acting.
This is somewhat surprising as Davis also won the corresponding Bafta earlier this month, and mentioned the US Jim Crow laws during her speech there.
Her moving speech began: ‘Thank you to the Academy. There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered, and that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?
‘And I say exhume those bodies, exhume those stories, the stories of people who dreamed big who never saw those dreamed to tuition, who fell in love and lost.
‘I became an artist and thank god I did only because it’s the only profession celebrates what it means to live a life.’
She then paid tribute to August Wilson who wrote the play of Fences, which she also starred in before the movie happened.
‘Here’s to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people,’ she said, before extending her thanks to her parents, husband and daughter.
With tears gathering in her eyes, the actress also mentioned her co-star too, saying: ‘Oh captain, my captain Denzel Washington.’
Denzel is up against Casey Affleck, Ryan Gosling, Andrew Garfield and Viggo Mortensen for Best Actor.
Earlier in the evening another black performer, Mahershala Ali, won Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, just a year after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy undermined the Adademy’s credibility.
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