Viola Davis Oscar Speech

Oscars 2017: Viola Davis Wins Best Supporting Actress for Fences

She went in the odds-on favorite and came out a winner.

As predicted by Oscar prognosticators far and wide, Viola Davis took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy at Sunday’s 89th annual Academy Awards for her raw, visceral work in Fences.

In her emotional acceptance speech, Davis said, “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 wan to tell, Viola?’ and I say, “Exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost.’ I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So here’s to [Fences screenwriter/playwright] August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.”

Heading into Sunday’s ceremony, the How to Get Away With Murder actress had already triumphed at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the BAFTAs.

This was Davis’ third Oscar nomination and first win; she had previously been nominated for her work in 2009’s Doubt and 2012’s The Help.