December 18, 2015

Following her tear-inducing speech at the 2015 Emmys, who didn't want to sit down for a heart-to-heart with Viola Davis? (Accepting her award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama—the first African-American woman to do so—Davis roused the crowd by saying, "Here's to all the people ... who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.") Well, there's one lucky lady who gets to sit down for a heart-to-heart with the How to Get Away With Murder star every day: her 5-year-old daughter Genesis. 

"I give my daughter advice all the time," Davis says in the above behind-the-scenes video from our January cover shoot, on newsstands now. That includes pointers on her personal style, which to Davis, encompasses more than a few statement-making maxi dresses. "[I want to] make sure whatever her style is, it's hers, that it's just something that brings out the best in who she is," she says. (Judging from Genesis's recent Halloween costume, below, we'd say she's gotten the message.)

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A photo posted by Viola Davis (@violadavis) on Oct 31, 2015 at 7:24pm PDT

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are," Davis continues. "We're always trying to be someone else as women—we're always trying to be pretty, that's the thing—and I want her to feel like she's her pretty."

RELATED: Viola Davis's Advice to Young Women? "When in Doubt, Dive"

To hear more of Davis's advice to her daughter, watch the video above, and to read our interview with the 50-year-old star, where she shares the lessons she's learned in life and in love, pick up the January issue of InStyle, now available on newsstands and for digital download

 Jan Welters