Why Viola Davis "Feels Fabulous" at Variety's Power of Women Luncheon

Viola Davis
Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty

Viola Davis, star of the new hit series How to Get Away with Murder, Oscar nominee for her role in The Help, and all-around admired actress, has a lot going for her. But it was being an honoree at the annual Variety Power of Women luncheon yesterday afternoon that made her "feel fabulous," she told InStyle.com.

"I would say it's like my daughter's always saying: 'I want to be queen, because I feel like a queen,'" she added.

Davis also looked the part, wearing Jacob & Co. earrings and a light seafoam Escada dress that she picked for the color, neckline and fit, she told us. Of course, the actress wasn't just about looks.

She was being honored for her work with Hunger Is, a foundation that fights childhood hunger in this country. In fact, the topic is a personal one. Tearing up onstage when she accepting her award, she said she grew up in "abject poverty."

"I did everything to get food: I’ve stolen; I’ve jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food," she said to the audience. "I’ve befriended people in the neighborhood whose moms I knew cooked three meals a day, for food. I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame."

Davis has come a long, glorious way since and she's encouraging women to get involved. Women are unique and powerful because "our hearts are just as big as our brains," she told us. "I tell my daughter that every morning before she leaves for school."

With reporting by Brianna Deutsch.

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