Viola Davis has always been candid when it comes to her upbringing, but the Oscar nominee and Emmy winner opened up even more to host James Lipton when she stopped by Inside the Actors Studio. Davis, whose performance in Fences is generating a ton of buzz, revealed she and sister Dolores used to play a game of “tea party” when things were rough around the house.
“I grew up with extreme violence in the family, my father was an alcoholic,” Davis said in the episode airing Thursday, Jan. 5 on Bravo. But this wasn’t just a normal tea party Dolores and Viola would play, no, the two took on personalities of rich women, Jagee amd Jaja (taking a step at spelling here) from Beverly Hills.
“We were very wealthy women who lived in Beverly Hills,” Davis explained about her elaborate make believe. “We were dripping with diamonds, we both had little Chihuahuas in our hands and we would talk about the food we were eating and the wine we were drinking and what happened during the day and how our husbands bought us the diamond and how much they loved us…”
But playtime always ended when Dolores had enough. “She would say, ‘You don’t have any money…You’re poor, you live in a house, you don’t even have electricity,'” Davis said. And despite Davis’ desire to continue the tea party, it would end once Dolores flipped that switch.
And look at Davis now…
Davis returns in How to Get Away With Murder on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. Inside the Actors Studio airs Thursday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)