Viola Davis: I panic about not being pretty

Viola Davis “panics” about not being “pretty”, as her fluctuating weight leaves her “always weighing” herself to make sure she isn’t gaining too much.

The 53-year-old actress has admitted her weight is constantly fluctuating and can leave her upset when she’s feeling “really heavy”, and says she’s “always weighing” herself to make sure she isn’t gaining too much.

She said: “Now, at 53, I’m picking out what the pieces are. Literally. For instance, just an example, I’ve gained weight. Now, listen, I’m not a skinny Minnie. I’ve never been a skinny Minnie. I’m a yo-yo dieter. I’m always weighing myself. I always go to bed in a panic that I’m really heavy, I’m not pretty, I’m not this, I’m not that.”

The ‘Fences’ actress insists she “never cared about being pretty” until she moved to LA to pursue an acting career, as she says the pressures of Hollywood have made her more conscious of her looks.

She continued: “But I don’t care about being pretty … I never cared about being pretty. I came to LA, and all of a sudden, I care about being pretty because I feel like that is my way of being accepted into a larger community, coming from poverty, coming from a past of invisibility. Now, it’s like, I don’t care about that! And once I decided I didn’t care about that, I feel pretty good! I feel pretty good! It’s lightened my load.”

And although she’s an accomplished actress – having won an Oscar, and Emmy, and two Tonys – Viola admits she isn’t “proud” of some of her earlier film roles, which she claims “keep her up” at night.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the ‘Help’ actress said: “I had the Oscar, I have two Tonys, I have the Emmy, I have a big house, and still – bam – unfulfilling. Then I realised it’s because I’m not living for significance and legacy.

“And this is a big one, and this sort of hurts a little bit: I’m finally admitting to myself that a lot of the jobs I’ve taken in the past, because I knew that they would further my career, have been things that I have not been proud of. They put more money in the bank, they raised my status, but at night they keep me up.”

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