Viola Davis was honored as the 48th Chaplin Award Gala recipient Monday (24 April 2023) in New York.
Davis, a rare EGOT winner, says she feels the same as she did when she appeared in the directorial debut of Denzel Washington "Antwone Fisher," her first role in a major film.
“I don't feel any different…the biggest excitement besides working with Denzel and working with Derek, Luke and all the beautiful actors on there was I had two days of work, so it was supposed to be one day and it ended up being two days,” said ‘The Woman King’ star.
“I made $671 for two days. I've always felt like the privilege was just doing it. See, I'm from the other side of acting, that 95% unemployment rate, 1% that make $50,000 a year or more. I never got into it to be famous.”
Davis is also set to star in “Waller,” a spinoff of the DC Comics “Peacemaker” franchise, but the Oscar winner was hush on how far along she was into the project.
“I can't tell you that,” she said with a smile. “But when it happens, it's going to be awesome.”
Presenters for Davis included Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Jessica Chastain, along with “The Woman King” director Gina Prince-Bythewood.
“I was being recognized with the Elle Woman in Hollywood as like this newcomer and Viola Davis showed up and gave a speech and that meant a lot to me,” said Chastain. “When I got asked about doing this, there was never, no matter how—I'm doing a play right now, and I love it, but I'm exhausted…the exhaustion is never too great to show up for Viola Davis. That's the person—and that's what she means to me.”
Prince-Bythewood said while Davis can do no wrong on the screen, she’d like to see her show off her funny side.
“I want to see her in a comedy because she's hysterically funny and it's certainly something people need to know about,” said the “Love & Basketball” filmmaker.
“I think I want to write something for her to show that side of her.”
The Chaplain Award Gala began in 1972 and is the most important fundraising event of the year for Film at Lincoln Center, with all proceeds benefiting the organization in its mission to support the art and craft of cinema.