*Viola Davis is set to drop a memoir in which she unpacks her childhood trauma that included growing up in poverty with her five siblings, suffering sexual abuse, and witnessing her alcoholic father physically and emotionally abuse her mother.
“People are constantly asking, ‘So how did you get from Central Falls, R.I.? Oh, you grew up poor? Really?’ And then you start your story,” she tells PEOPLE. “And you’d say it again and again.”
In her new memoir “Finding Me,” Davis takes readers through her journey out of poverty to Hollywood stardom.
“Everything I’ve experienced is what connects me to the world. It’s given me an extraordinary sense of compassion. It’s reconciling that young girl in me and healing from the past — and finding a home,” she said.
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“I always thought acting defined my life, and it doesn’t,” Davis continued. “What people in the world tell you is that if you find that thing that you do, that you are great at, then that’s it. And you have money in the bank, and you have a house, and you have a cute husband, and he loves you and your kid, that’s it. And it’s not.”
“I was still hiding a huge part of my story,” she added. “It’s almost like I reinvented all the things that I wanted to and tossed away the rest of it. You know when you look at pictures down memory lane, and you see it differently. I’m looking at little Viola, and I see how strong she was and how she was just a spitfire. I think that’s why I wrote the book, that if I somehow explored it, unpacked those memories, resolving them, that somehow I could find my peace.”
Davis will sit down with Oprah Winfrey for a candid interview about her life and new memoir.
During the conversation, the Oscar-winning actress will discuss “all the things that cause you pain,” including her childhood trauma. The conversation will air exclusively on Netflix.
As reported by Urban Hollywood 411, according to the official synopsis, “Viola reveals how ‘giving up hope that the past could be different’ has brought her peace, forgiveness and a sense of self. Viola also explains how she manifested the loves in her life and what it took to become one of the most celebrated and talented actresses of our time.”
The 48-minute special titled “Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event” premieres on April 22.
“Finding Me” will be released on April 26.
You can also catch Davis in the Showtime miniseries “The First Lady” premiering this weekend.
We previously reported that Davis is set to play former First Lady Michelle Obama in the anthology series. Here’s the official synopsis: “In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes…”
“The First Lady,” premieres Sunday, Apr 17 at 9 PM ET/PT on Showtime.