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Viola Davis’ Central Falls Upbringing Featured in AARP Magazine

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Viola Davis

Rhode Island native Viola Davis is featured in the latest issue of AARP Magazine.

In the article, Davis recalls her time growing up in a condemmed house Central Falls with her parents, brother and four sisters. Davis's mother had an eighth grade education and worked occasionally in factories while father groomed racehorses at Narragansett Park.

Read The Article Here

However, Viola says the two jobs combined were not enough to feed a family of eight.

"Most of the time, the school lunch was the only meal I had. I would befriend kids whose mothers cooked three meals a day and go to their homes when I could," Davis says in the article.

Viola Davis has won two Tony awards and received her first Oscar nomination in 2009 for her performance in Doubt. Davis received a second Oscar nomination in 2012 for her performance as Aibileen Clark in The Help.

Viola Davis is currently starring as Amanda Waller in the DC Comics movie Suicide Squad with Will Smith and Jared Leto, who plays the Joker.

The film is set to be released on August 5, 2016.


Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Academy Award Connections

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Viola Davis (2017)

Central Falls native Viola Davis is nominated for "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" for the movie "Fences" where she starred alongside Denzel Washington. 

The movie details the life of a working-class African-American father who tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

Davis is already having an award winning year, having won a Golden Globe for "Fences" back in January. 

Prior to the Golden Globes, Davis was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

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Silence (2017)

The movie "Silence" was executive produced by Rhode Island's Chad Verdi along side legendary movie director Martin Scorsese.

"Silence" is nominated for best Cinematography.

The film stars Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor — who is played by Liam Neeson — and spread Catholicism even though the religion has been banned. 

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Hacksaw Ridge (2017)

'Hacksaw Ridge" starring Andrew Garfield was produced by David Permut. 

Permut also produced the movie "The Polka King" in Rhode Island. According to Rhode Island Film and TV's Steve Feinberg, Permut's parents got engage at Roger Williams Park. 

"Hacksaw Ridge" is nominated for best picture. 

The film is based on the true story of WWII American Army Medic Desmond Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refused to bear arms, saved the lives of more than 75 men and became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot. 


PHOTO: Hacksawridgemovie.com

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La La Land (2017)

La La Land director Damien Chazelle was born in Providence.

La La Land is nominated for 14 awards, the most of any other movie. 

The movie stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and details the story of a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

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Spotlight (2016)

The nominated movie "Spotlight" features local Rhode Island dentist Anthony Paolucci plaing the role of Kevin in the film.

Five other Rhode Island residents worked as part of the crew. They are: Brenda McNally, Shayna Passeretti, Ollie Amerigian, Mike Buonanno, Brinton McFarland. 

The movie is based on the Boston Globe's massive uncovering of a child molestation and cover up in the local catholic archdiocese.

The film stars Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo



Photo courtesy of IMDB

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Emma Watson (2015)

This Brown University graduate received her bachelor’s degree in English literature, and played the role of Hermoine Granger in the 8-part Harry Potter series saga. The Harry Potter series has been nominated for a total of 12 Academy Awards, including for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score. 

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Seth MacFarlane (2013)

This RISD grad and Family Guy creator hosted the 85th Annual Academy Awards in 2013.

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom was filmed around southern Rhode Island, and Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola were nominated for Best Writing in 2012.

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Richard Jenkins (2008)

Richard Jenkins was nominated as Best Actor in 2008 for his role in "The Visitor." The Cumberland resident is a veteran of Trinity Rep in Providence, as well. 

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Ben Affleck (1997)

Ben Affleck won the Best Original Screenplay award in 1997 for cowriting "Good Will Hunting" with Matt Damon. He received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Brown University in 2013.

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Nicholas Cage (1995)

This former Newport resident won Best Actor for his role in "Leaving Las Vegas" in 1995. 

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James Woods (1987)

Woods grew up in Warwick and attended Pilgrim High School. He was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Actor in 1987 for “Salvador” and Best Supporting Actor in 1997 for “Ghosts of Mississippi.” 

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The Great Gatsby (1974)

This Paul Newman vehicle was filmed in part in Newport at Rosecliff Mansion and Marble House, and won Best Costume Design, and Best Music.

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High Society (1958)

High Society was nominated for Best Score and Best Music in 1958. The movie stars Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra and was based in and partially filmed in Newport.

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Anthony Quinn (1952)

This Bristol resident who died in 2001 won Best Supporting Actor for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Lust For Life in 1956. He was nominated in 1957 for Best Actor for Wild Is The Wind and in 1964 for Zorba The Greek.

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John Huston (1948)

This actor/director won Oscars for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay in 1948 for The Treasure of Sierra Madre. He was nominated for Best Director for African Queen in 1951 and, Prizzi’s Honor in 1985. Huston died in his home in Middletown in 1987.


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