Viola Davis opens up about being a shy, “overweight” child

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) — It’s been a long journey for Oscar winner for Viola Davis.

After speaking with People about her struggles growing up in poverty, Davis is sharing more about her journey from “overweight” shy child to confident woman and Oscar winner.

“I was one of those people that everyone knew, but I didn’t have a lot of friends. I didn’t date or do any of that stuff. I was overweight and very, very shy,” she tellsPeople in a new cover story.

“My confidence took time. It really did, to come into myself,” says Davis, who finally found an outlet for expressing herself in the theater. “It took many years of getting knocked down and getting back up to finally say, ‘OK, I think I’m pretty tough. I’ve got this.'”

Davis is also the first black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting. She earned her first Tony Award nomination for Seven Guitars, three years after graduating from the Julliard School in New York.

But it wasn’t until she reached Hollywood years later that Davis become “mindful” of her appearance; as she puts it, “just wanting to look like a better me,” she said.

“At first, I just wanted to try really hard to make people see that I was pretty, that I wasn’t just the drug addict from Antoine Fisher, so it was about proving something to someone,” she explained.

“It wasn’t until the last year that I was like, ‘OK, I’m done with that,’” she said. “I just want to look like me, good me. I just want to be satisfied with how I look. With every year that passes, it’s another dragon.”

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