Viola Davis Earned an Oscar Nomination in Under 8 Minutes

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Viola Davis is nothing short of an acting legend. Whether she’s starring in movies, bringing down the house on Broadway, or displaying her impeccable talents on television, she is truly one of the best actors of the age. Unfortunately, it seems that Hollywood is just now starting to recognize what a true force the Oscar-winning performer is.

movie star Viola Davis
Viola Davis | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L’Oréal Paris

Davis has been dominating acting roles, big and small for years. Unfortunately, she has not been given the same amount of opportunities as her peers. The How to Get Away with Murder star has been very candid about the fact that women of color often don’t get the same chances to succeed as their White counterparts.

Viola Davis has proved time and time again that she’s a powerhouse

During a 2016 visit to the TODAY show, Davis talked about another legendary actress, Meryl Streep. She shared that one of the reasons Streep is one of the most decorated actors in history is because she has been given ample opportunities to showcase her immense talent.

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“I always say that Meryl Streep would not be Meryl Streep without Sophie’s Choice, without Kramer vs. Kramer, without The Devil Wears Prada,” Davis shared, listing some of Streep’s most well-known movies. “You can’t be a Meryl Streep if you’re the third girl from the left in the narrative with two scenes,” Davis added.

The actor always stands out in movies

But even though Davis may not have gotten as many opportunities to succeed as her White counterparts, she has taken advantage of each and every opportunity that she has rightfully earned. There have been countless times when Davis has showcased her indomitable skill-set despite the size of her role. One of the best examples of this comes from Davis’ role in Doubt where she gave new meaning to the infamous quote: “There are no small parts, just small actors.”

Doubt is a 2008 film about a seemingly charming priest who attempts to reform a strict Catholic school. One thing he does is admit the school’s first Black student, Donald Miller. However, when two nuns suspect that the priest may be paying a little too much attention to Donald, they do everything in their power to take him down. To call the cast of Doubt powerful is a huge understatement. Alongside Davis is Streep, Amy Adams, and the late and great Philip Seymour Hoffman.

How Davis earned an Oscar nomination in under 8 minutes

In the movie, Davis plays the role of Donald’s mother, Mrs. Miller. She is in one scene opposite Streep for approximately 7 minutes and 41 seconds. But despite the limited screen time, Davis’ performance in the film is extraordinary. She made the scene one of the most memorable in the entire film and even managed to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

The ‘HTGAWM’ star gets real about equal pay

Even after David proved that she could hold her own against Streep, TV and movie executives were still hesitant to pay Davis competitively. “You’re a Black Meryl Streep,” Davis shared back in 2018 , recollecting about what executives tell her at the Women in the World Event. “‘You are, and we love you! We love you. There is no one like you.’ OK, then if there is no one like me, if you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth. You give me what I’m worth!” Davis declared. Hopefully, the industry will one day recognize what a force Davis is and pay her accordingly. We can wait to see what she does next.