Viola Davis feels as if she had to “hustle for her worth” early on in her career.
The 57-year-old actress can now claim EGOT status as one of 18 people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony throughout their careers but admitted that in the early days she had to learn to “embrace” her true self in pursuit of success.
She told PEOPLE: “You always feel like you’re hustling for your worth, as a woman and as a black woman. After a while when you get beaten down so many times, there is something that happens that you have a God divine moment [of] seeing yourself and who you actually want to be. And you make a choice: You want to live, you want hope, you want to be that sort of ideal self, or are you going to embrace the person that you don’t want to be. And I chose to embrace the hopeful Viola, the Viola that was a survivor. It just happened, but it came through a lot of bruises.”
However, the ‘Air’ star did go on to acknowledge that she no longer has to “hustle” her way through her career these days but claimed that has “nothing to do” with her longevity but more bceause she was “born worthy” of success.
She added: “I don’t hustle anymore. And it has nothing to do with my age and how long I’ve been in the business. It’s a realization. It’s a self-actualization that worth is nothing to be negotiated with. I was born worthy. That’s not on the table. What’s on the table? Maybe you have to see it the way I see it.”