Viola Davis for LA Times Magazine

Posted on February 06, 2012

If there’s one thing this editorial taught us…


Viola Davis featured in the LA Times magazine photographed by Ruven Afanador and styled by Hayley Atkin.

It’s that Miss Viola needs to ditch the wigs and flaunt that fabulous natural head of hair. Talk about a dramatic difference; we actually thought the pictures were mislabeled when we first saw them. We really didn’t think that was Viola. We admit that our first thought was that she looks older without the wig, but we think that’s due to the fact that this hairstyle is more common on older women of color than younger ones. But there’s nothing inherently “mature” about the style and it totally alters her features (to the better). We think she’s looked gorgeous plenty of times, but we’ve never seen her look this striking.

And the quotes’ll make you fall in love with her. We didn’t even like The Help, but now we’re hoping she wins the Oscar – especially if she’s not wearing a wig and proudly rocking her natural hair when she does so.

 

Jason Wu sculpted dress: $3,195. Giuseppe Zanotti black suede cut-out bootie: $850.

 

On preferring underrated: “Human life is about a culmination of moments, and 99 percent of those are quiet but powerful. I am always interested and intrigued with watching that.”

 

Thierry Mugler lace with velvet trim suit (c. 1990s): $950 from Decades.

 

On being an African-American actress in Hollywood: “That really is our plight, especially as women of color. You can have all the training in the world, come from a respectable background and yet never get that big opportunity that breaks you out—never. [...] You can be in the business for 23 years, which I have been, and suddenly something happens that wakes people up. For me, that was being in a movie [Doubt] with Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It makes people realize you’re there. Otherwise you’re that black girl who had a guest or costar role in a TV show here or there.”

 

Jason Wu sculpted dress: $3,195. Costume National fox fur poncho: $1,696. Tom Ford Daphne sunglasses: $475. Giuseppe Zanotti black suede cut-out bootie: $850.

 

Marchesa long-sleeve high-neck re-embroidered lace dress with organza flower shoulder detail: $4,950.

 

On mentoring young people: “Young people need to be mentored to aspire to something fulfilling. I am doing this out of necessity. If I am not the instrument of change, I can meander through this business and be the black woman who always has two or three scenes but with fabulous actors around me.”

 

[Photo Credit: Ruven Afanador for latimesmagazine.com]

    • Anonymous

      OMG level fabulous! I think she looks younger with out the wig. I just re-checked her age too. 48! Those are realistic looks to aspire to. I love all the dresses too. 

      • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

        48? Seriously? I would have put her 10 years younger than that. 

        • Anonymous

           Me too. Wow.

        • Anonymous

          At least.

      • Anonymous

        She looks 50 in the second photo and 30 in the third.

        • Anonymous

          Oh how I wish that 50 looked that way.

      • Christina Brennan

        Agreed.  Compared to these photos, the wigs she sports on the red carpet are totally ageing. 

    • Anonymous

      What a transformation. She looks stunning here. Not that she didn’t look stunning before, but this look is a revelation. I get what you mean about her looking more mature, but in some of the pics, the natural hair gives her a youthful, fresh look. 

      • Anonymous

        Right? Like she is Alek Wek’s cousin or something. The transformation is astounding and she can carry it.  

        • MilaXX

           Yep I told my sister she reminds me a little of Alek in some of these shots.

    • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

      How old is she? I thought that cover shot was the youngest I have seen her looking, until I got to the picture in the sunglasses! Beautiful.

      • Anonymous

         I wish there was a picture of her looking straight at the camera – she has amazing eyes.

    • Anonymous

      WOW! She looks incredible…I have never seen her look as breathtaking.  Viola Davis is a strikingly beautiful woman, but this is far and away the best she’s looked.  Bravo to the LA Times for this…anything that will promote the anti-starlet bullshit and show true beauty is fantasticals for me.

      • Anonymous

        Hear hear!

      • Anonymous

        “the anti-starlet bullshit”–love that!

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Love love love!!

    • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

      Even more than her obvious beauty, and the loveliness of the editorial, is the beauty of the truths in her words.  Brava!

      • Anonymous

        You are right.  I notice her and her words, and then the clothes (and I don’t think that’s a bad thing in this case).

        • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

           Not a bit of it!  Its so refreshing to see someone bring intelligence, sensitivity, and class to the table.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, and the notion of responsibility to others (future generations, other talented black actresses). The idea that her story, remarkable as it is, is part of something bigger–this notion seems to be lost on most actors and actresses.  I just really like her.  And totally agree with TLo.  I want her to win too!

      • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

         Yes!  Although I did breathe “holy fuck” upon seeing the closeup of her in the Thierry Mugler.

    • Anonymous

      Ohmygod, I love her.  This is my favorite TLo post in a long while.  Thanks, guys!

    • Anonymous

      Flaw.less.

    • Anonymous

      She is gorgeous.

    • Anonymous

      Stunning!

    • Anonymous

      Holy crap!  She looks astounding, and 10 years younger.  I keep thinking of her as a great looking woman of a certain age, but that wig was really hiding her true glory.  It’s true, black don’t crack!

    • Anonymous

      She looks fantastic. So beautiful. Like other commenters, I thought she looked younger. And the quotes are great.

    • Anonymous

      I find it refreshing that it appears they used old fashioned lighting tricks and positioning rather than photoshopping the heck out of her…Seems much more natural and real

    • Sara__B

      She looks wonderful. Yes, ditch the wigs! (Now I’d like to see Michelle Obama with natural hair.)

      • MilaXX

         It’ll be a long time coming before the FLOTUS can be natural. I’m just happy Shelly doesn’t wig/weave.

        • Anonymous

          FLOTUS? Someone help me out w/ this!

          • Anonymous

            First Lady of the United States

          • Eclectic Mayhem

            First Lady of the United States; her hubby is POTUS.

          • nancy coyle

            First Lady of the United States.

          • MilaXX

             FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States. The president is called the POTUS

          • Anonymous

            How did I not know that? Thanks guys!

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Count on it — race is still an issue with voters and when older white voters see natural hair on an African American woman, they think “Black Panthers.”  Not something that most older white people find comforting…

    • Anonymous

      Just absolutely beautiful.

    • RocknLox

      Talk about vogueing… she is giving all types of face. 

      • Anonymous

        I know.  Because of her face and pose, she looks different in every shot. 

    • Anonymous

      I always thought she was beautiful, but this chick is STUNNING.

    • Anonymous

      Fabulous photos, wonderful quotes.  Love her.

    • Renee Thomas

      Straight up stunning. So not only can she act, she can model the hell out of fierce clothes.
      Given what she says about many black actors never having a big break and working mostly in small parts and guest spots, is it wrong that I remember her most for her incredible performance in a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode? Seeing her go toe-to-toe with D’Onofrio was pretty awesome. (The ep is called “Badge” btw)

      • Anonymous

        I remember that one, too! She rocked.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=615187474 Trish Barker

        YES. She was an outstanding villain in that. She has a totally innocuous line (“Eat your fish. That’s brain food.”) that I flash on frequently, because she infuses it with *menace* and it. is. awesome.

      • Anonymous

        I did not even REALIZE that was her. Wow! She was great, even in that one ep.

    • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

      She looks beautiful. I am definitely going to be rooting for her on Oscar night.

    • Anonymous

      Ooh! I couldn’t wait until you covered this when I saw the teaser on facebook. She is so beautiful, I really want to see her make fireworks in Hollywood. Reminds me of a female Sidney Portier with these pictures.

    • Susana Reyes

      She looks so different! In a great way. 

    • Anonymous

      I think it does make her look “older”, it’s just that older isn’t always a bad thing. It makes her look older in the sense of mature, powerful, intense, experienced, interesting; not in the sense of crows-feet and sagging. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of “aging” unless you’re living in a youth-obsessed society.

      • Anonymous

        You are right.  It makes her more mature, but in a way where that isn’t an insult.  Rather it’s a testament to her self assurance, her wisdom, her contributions to her craft …

        Thanks for the reminder that looking mature isn’t necessarily pejorative.

        • Terence Ng

          Really? I instantly thought she was in her mid 20’s seeing her like this.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you–you really hit the nail on the head.  She looks so much more interesting with her natural hair.

      • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

         That’s the kind of mature I’ve always wanted to be, ever since I was young. Well said!

    • Alison Becker

      When I saw this section of the paper yesterday, two things crossed my mind. 1. Is that really Viola Davis? and 2. I can’t wait to read what T.Lo have to say about this.  She looks fabulous.

    • MilaXX

      I have loved this woman for so long, it’s not even funny. This editorial darn near brought tears to my eyes. To me she looks absolutely beautiful. I think she looks younger without the wigs. You see her,  her beautiful eyes, and that gorgeous crown that is her own damned hair.  I don’t knock the sisters that choose to weave, wig, relax or blow out their hair, but for me there is something so much more beautiful and refreshing about a person who chooses to rock their own natural locks.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        The whole issue of how black men and women wear their hair is so fraught that – as a white woman – I hesitate to even comment but I love, love, LOVE to see people rocking their natural look.  The main thing that concerns me about the the relaxing/weaving industry is that so much of it is controlled by international conglomerates which merely want to sell, sell, sell.

        • Anonymous

          It’s not just that industry; it’s everywhere. Every ad and look is shoved down your throat how straight, smooth hair is better than kinky, curly hair and just screams: Smooth hair will land you jobs, get you higher up in the corporate world, make you look more “official” and “office ready”. It’s a damn disgrace that the more you try to be an organic version of yourself, it’s looked down upon. And yes, I’m not a woman of color myself, and haven’t experienced this firsthand, but I understand why women put up with the chemicals, the “creamy crack” perse, the hundreds of dollars of weaves. I wish it wasn’t an issue, but it is.
          It’s also all chalked down to the double standard that men can rock perms or natural hair and be fine in any instance. There is a definite hierarchy in the racial social stratum, and women—especially black women– have a long, steep ladder to climb.
          As India.Arie puts it:  good hair means curls and waves, bad hair means you look like a slave. At the turn of the century, it’s time for us to redefine who we be. Thank you, Viola.

        • Anonymous

          Completely agree with you. I used to lament the fact that I would look so much better with a brazilian blow out (that I can’t really afford) until I saw Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair”.  Incredible what people go through for their hair.  Viola looks so naturally stunning here.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Also… skin bleaching creams and eyelid tape. 

        • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

          I don’t know enough about the issues to comment intelligently, unfortunately (I really must educate myself more) but so many black women seem to have such amazing facial features that can rock the hell out of that natural, cropped hair. I haven’t often seen this hair looking bad on women of colour, whereas I would just look pasty and masculine.

    • Anonymous

      OMG. I always thought she was beautiful, but this was a revelation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMAPJYMO5AC6GMONR6NQFURAXE bebo

      She looks beautiful. Women with strong faces look great with short hair.

    • Anonymous

      She is amazing and so so gorgeous. I’m glad they didn’t use the tired old “trick” of lightening her complexion for the cover either.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, SO with you there! Too many times we’ve seen people of color on all levels of the spectrum both just bleached out on covers. I think this is cover is a response to so many people that see those lightened magazine covers walk by, glance and silently have a swell of sadness and disappointment welling up, wondering when things will change. 
        Now we can see somebody not ONLY in their natural complexion, but rocking a completely natural look as well. It makes me finally smile at a magazine editorial showcase a glamorous, wonderful woman. I know that this won’t stop future magazine covers from bleaching out a person of color’s skin and claim that it was the lighting, but it’s a step-in-the-mother-f’in-right-direction.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          There are times it IS the lighting.  But why is a pro photographer lighting his model so badly that her skin is bleached out?  ‘Cause if you do that with a white model, you have to re-shoot the photos.  So it’s not on accident.

    • Anonymous

      I think she actually looks younger with her natural hair. Maybe that’s because I associate wigs with women of a certain age and natural hair with younger, more fashionable women. 

      • Anonymous

        I had the same thought – she could be a 25-year-old breakout star in many of these pics.

        I might be too cynical, but I suspect it could hurt her career to ditch the wigs.  I’m afraid it would make her look too out-of-the-mainstream and limit the roles she would be considered for.

        • Anonymous

          This editorial doesn’t mean necessarily she’s ditching them for good. If anything, it could make her more accessible, because she can throw on the wigs in certain roles and go natural for others. Granted, she looks absolutely fabulous and a thousand times better without, but she’s her own woman and obviously chooses roles to strengthen her image.

        • Anonymous

          For whatever reason(s) she wears them, one knows it’s a thought-out choice. Possibly this editorial signals that she might change it up and go with a natural style sometimes? Or perhaps her reasoning for Hollywood events & photo ops will stand.

    • Anonymous

      My goodness – that face! The very short hair highlights her features so beautifully.

    • Anonymous

      I gotta admit, at first I didn’t even recognize her. Whoever’s foisting those wigs on her should be fired. She’s stunning.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve always thought she was fabulous, and I mean fabulous beyond beautiful or striking or anything to do just with the physical, though she is all of that, too. Her personal experience shows in every movement and expression, and that is what makes her worth watching. I’m with you, the natural hair is just that much more authentic, and pulls me even more to what she has to say, however she chooses to say it. But no matter what she wears, or what her venue, she’ll always have an audience in me. She’s just so powerful.

    • Anonymous

      WOW! She looks amazing. Viola rocks the teeny-fro.

    • Anonymous

      Looks to me like she’s a pretty great model too.  Did she do modelling in her pre-acting (or pre-known actress) days?

    • Anonymous

      I also honestly can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a famous black actress/entertainer in black clothing, dramatic make up and without a wig. And nothing is, shall we say, photoshopped lighter.

      • Anonymous

        Hugely excellent point…LA Times Mag gets serious props for that.  Isn’t it a damn shame that we’re sincerely (and rightfully) appreciating a woman of color rocking natural hair and not being lightened in post production?  Not to pee in the positive Cheerios, because this is a wonderful feature all around, but it’s kind of disconcerting that it’s so rare.

        • Anonymous

          Hah, we are thinking on the exact same wavelength–just posted something very similar to this to an above comment. And if I’m thinking right, posted it at about the same time. :)

          • Anonymous

            That’s hilarious, but I like your phrasing better…the mother f-ing right direction ending was particularly choice. :)

    • Judy_J

      Gorgeous.  Just gorgeous.  Inside and out.

    • Anonymous

      I simply did not recognize her as well.  Incredible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542185727 Barb Cooper

      I agree with those who commented on her editorial comments. Isn’t it refreshing to hear a celebrity/personality/star speak honest intelligent sentences? And the photo shoot was just extraordinary! Thank you Viola! And, while I usually back Meryl Streep for the win on Oscar night, Viola Davis’ role and performance has it all over Ms. Streep this year.

    • Anonymous

      Her skin and hair are beautiful in all the photos, but I wish they had chosen a different shot for the cover — the shadows are so heavy handed that it’s making her face look too hooded and jowly.

    • Anonymous

      Man, she looks beautiful. Never wear a wig again, Viola. Unless you do a giant beehive, which is acceptable on all women.

    • Anonymous

       Probably my favorite editorial in a long time. So beautiful and powerful. And Miss Viola is breathtaking. I wish her the very best.

    • Anonymous

      If I were her, I would NEVER wear a wig.
      I can’t even believe this is the same person. Burn the wigs, Viola.

    • Anonymous

      Fabulous!  I love that closeup of her!

    • Anonymous

      if theres one thing this editorial taught me it is that when magazines like, say, vanity fair refuses to put black people on their front cover for, say, their hollywood issue they are out of their minds. few white actress or models can hold a melting white candle to these photos–in all sorts of ways. if, for some insane reason, big mags think that black people cannot be regal & glamorous at this late date –oh for heavens sake. there are no words. same goes for when fashion designers & fashion magazines do not use black models. isnt it time already people. havent we got there yet.

      if theres a second thing this editorial taught me it’s that viola davis is my age & she shouldnt be calling herself a girl under any real circumstances, not even when she’s discussing what other people may think of her, even if, maybe, she’s thinking that they are thinking the word. cheapens her brand, if you will.

    • Anonymous

       Absolutely gorgeous.

      She should ditch the wigs.

    • Anonymous

      Wow.

    • Anonymous

      Totally fabulous!  Love it!

    • Anonymous

      She looks beautiful.  I especially love the two pictures with her smiling, the serene one where she is standing as well as the big fierce smile with the sunglasses.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

      What long and elegant hands/fingers!

    • Anonymous

      beautiful, just beautiful…

    • Anonymous

      I have always found her beautiful, but with her real hair she is stunning. Ditch the wigs, Viola. You look positively regal without fake hair.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10910518 Erica Woods Tucker

      AMAZING!!!! I love the way she looks here. Jason Wu looks fantastic on her! I love the real her. It’s a shame that she has to wear the wigs in order to get a foot in the door.   I think she’s a great actress, I hope her roles don’t dry up like they did for Halle Berry after she won.

    • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986 Judy S

      I love these photos because she looks so real–not photoshopped or turned into cardboard.  You believe what you are seeing and it is beautiful.

    • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

      She’s so dope. And the clothes are perfect- now if only she could be offered roles that allow her to look like the obvious glamourpuss she is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RocketStarling Ashley Ellen Wilson

      SHE. IS. FABULOUS. I’m hoping she goes without the faux hair from now on–what a gorgeous lady, in and out! 

    • Anonymous

      The black Jason Wu dress with the French maid dust-ruffle was ill-advised.

      • Anonymous

        That occurred to me too.  Thankfully, the other dresses steer clear of that.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe she’s being cheeky? She looks so incredible in it, I can happily overlook the connotations.

        • Anonymous

          I’d like to believe that.  It’s a much less cynical take!

    • Anonymous

      What a beautiful, beautiful woman. would have loved some color on her! She is fabulous.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

         I agree, these are stunning, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else whose complexion and coloring looks better in jewel tones!

    • Anonymous

      LOVE these pictures. 

      In a wig she looks more conventionally pretty, which at least is a less permanent (not to mention non-invasive) alteration than what so many others do. (I’m still trying to figure out why Kate Beckinsale’s face looks more generically glam than it used to but less like, uh, Kate Beckinsale’s face.)  And since conventionally pretty is what it’s all about 99% of the time in Hollywood, the wigs make sense. But in these pictures she’s beautiful. Beautiful and real and, yes, grown up, which isn’t what Hollywood usually wants to see from a woman.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFMOZFM3WT3T56EZHVZFK7UXSI Ramon

      Now that’s how you give face. And such beautiful words. She’s also right that “Doubt” kind of put her on the Hollywood radar. What she did in 12 minutes Julia Roberts cannot do in a whole movie (and I love Julia Roberts). She practically took the movie from Meryl Streep. I refuse to watch “The Help,” but I am going to boogie till I puke if she wins the Oscar.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EJ4VTYPEO76XDX7BVNVUSDF2GE Fuzzy Izmit

      Beautiful! Just pure beauty!

    • butter nut

      i didnt even recognize her.  she looks so much better (younger!) without those church lady wigs.  i hope she ditches them forever cause she looks fantastic. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1596747014 Fatah Cooper

      OMG she is beautiful

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      Wow! An amazing set of pics. She looks fantastic!
      And except for the Marchesa (surprise, surprise) I would like to have some of those clothes please.

    • Brad and Anne White

      Gorgeous!! No more wigs, lady. You hear that???

    • Jennifer Coleman

      When I realized that the gorgeous woman in this photo spread was Viola Davis (believe me, it took a moment) I was simply overjoyed. While Viola was always beautiful, I always felt the burden of those wigs on her, literally flashing back to that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer holiday special where Rudolph had to wear the fake nose to ‘fit in’. These pictures a styled impeccably, but the feeling of freedom in them is almost intoxicating. We get a peek here of the real, joyous Viola and it is wonderful.

      • Anonymous

        That is apt.  And having watched the Rudolph move again recently after seeing it as a kid probably 35 years ago–it is a truly horrible movie (Santa is a real jerk and the message is that difference can be tolerated if it makes you extra useful).

    • Anonymous

      Dear Lord, please create some sort of mysterious wig toxin that only targets The wig collections of Ms. Davis and her style team. She is one of your many most beautiful and stunning creations as you see. Those wigs are the Devil and they must be rebuked!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1253053236 Belle Burnett

      LOVE HER!

    • Anonymous

      I thought it was great she singled out Cicely Tyson. She and Viola Davis both popped for me from television appearances — Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” when I was a kid (OMG, she was good) and Viola Davis on an episode of “Without a Trace” where she grabbed the camera and wouldn’t let go. Love her. Both hers, but especially Viola Davis, who has the same birthday I do. 

    • Anonymous

      She’s never looked better, and she always looks good!
      Could the wigs be her way of trying not to look too ethnic for Hollywood?

      • Anonymous

        As a black woman, IMHO that is absolutely what it is. You hear her talk about the difficulties she and other black actresses already have… that is only magnified when casting directors, etc. picture you as “too ethnic.”  It’s only after a woman has made it to a certain level that she can even “dare” to rock a look like this, and frankly, I’m not sure even winning the Oscar will be enough for Viola to feel like it might not hurt her going forward.  It’s just one more bias for folks to overcome.

    • Anonymous

      WOW

    • Anonymous

      Well, i still don’t recognise her, she looks like a different person, an absolutelly beautiful, extremely striking one. And she actually looks younger to me!  Good for her, bravo for the people that styled her for the editorial.

    • Anonymous

      I am saying what everyone else has said because I want Viola Davis to read this blog and see hundreds and hundreds of the same comment:  Never put a wig on that stunning head of yours ever again!  These pictures rocked me back on my heels–I would never have recognized Viola Davis without being told that’s who it was–because I have never seen her without a wig and could not imagine she could look this spectacular. And how sad is that?

      Burn the fake hair, Ms. Davis, and let your astounding light shine!  

    • R. L.

      Wow.  She looked the part in “The Help”.  Here she looks fabulous.  I’ll love it if she wins.

    • Anonymous

      She looks amazing. I so admire her forthrightness in speaking about issues in Hollywood for women of color. She’s not pussyfooting around!

    • Anonymous

      I wish more black women would live curly — starting with Michelle Obama. I love the look of natural African American hair.

    • Terence Ng

      Jesus Christ. She’s WERQing the shit out of these photos. She’s gorgeous. Girl, THIS is your look.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t believe this is her. She looks so completely gorgeous and amazing. . . I hope she never picks up a wig again! 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AYQCICXEN2CCDBFV5HED4Z2RUA Dee B

      She is serving up  Lauryn Hill pre-crazy

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I don’t think she looks older, honestly.  I find the wigs very aging most of the time.  And her natural hair is so much more compelling and dramatic, which I think slightly younger women tend to go for more than older ones.

    • Anonymous

      I had my doubts. I revoke them all. THIS is a gorgeous woman. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

      she is a beautiful woman.

    • Lexie

      Amazing. So incredibly beautiful.

      The Help isn’t really my kind of movie, but I thought she was fantastic in Doubt.

    • Anonymous

      WOW! I mean WOW! I have always thought her a very beautiful woman, but she is really amazingly GORGEOUS!

    • Anonymous

      She’s always looked good. Here she looks stunning! 

    • Anonymous

      Fan-freaking-tabulous.  Inside and out.

    • Anonymous

      Wonderful. Love her.

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow – gorgeous and gorgeousness.

    • Anonymous

      Gorgeous!  I’d never have recognized her….so accustomed to her in wigs.  She certainly should switch it up. 

    • Anonymous

      Just fabulous. She’s beautiful and articulate–a role model for everyone. My favorite picture is the one in the Thierry Mugler dress.   

    • Anonymous

      Holy shit. Not only does she look gorgeous, but girl can MODEL.

    • Anonymous

      Gorgeous photos, although they missed an opportunity to let her rock some of those incredible rich colors that she favors on the RC. Still, she’s killing it.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      She is amazing and the clothes are gorgeous.  Love the natural hair.  The photographer did a beautiful job.

    • Anonymous

      Magnificent!! Damn, I hate those wigs. Her “hairdo” at the SAG awards was atrocious.  Hoping she goes natural for the Oscars, and hope she wins.

    • Anonymous

       She should also mentor young actors on looking supermodel stunning when posing for magazines instead of looking vacant or clueless.

    • Anonymous

      WOW! Talk about knock-your-socks-off stunning! Wow! How can anyone NOT know she’s there?!?

      Just WOW!

    • Anonymous

      I wondered what you guys would think when I saw these shots – I think she looks AMAZING!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BIDMDNVO7QMU6VQ7X3NQEAP4EU Brian

      I like Ms. Davis a lot but her award acceptance speeches are so over-the-top dramatic and intense and serious, like winning an award for acting is akin to curing cancer, that I find myself turning the channel when she wins as she will undoubtedly do on Feb 26. Very talented but lighten up a bit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mikemoralesLA Mike Morales

      Beautiful! She looks like a slightly older Lauryn Hill perhaps. The one with her in big shades and smiling is a knockout. You’re right, she needs to ditch the wigs IMMEDIATELY.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE!

    • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

      So impressive!

    • http://twitter.com/rmcgrudiva RL McGruder

      She is almost unrecognizable without the wigs – and in a FABULOUS way!  So glad she’s showing off her natural beauty!

    • Anonymous

      She has the ability to look dramatically different from shoot to shoot. I almost didn’t recognize her. Lovely. On another note, while I think her performance was good in The Help, it doesn’t hold a candle to Meryl Streep’s performance as Margaret Thatcher (which I just saw last week). Not even in the same league. Not sure why she received a nomination….

    • Anonymous

      She is as beautiful as she is articulate. <3

    • Anonymous

      LOVE.

    • Anonymous

      That Jason Wu dress is incredible on her. All these looks are great, but the first picture of her in the Wu really astounded me. I also think she looks so incredibly happy and comfortable in her skin, which is very rare in any magazine spread.

    • Anonymous

      She ought to never wear a wig again. Seriously, I have never seen her look more fabulous.

      She is heart-breakingly beautiful in the close-up. A stunning pose.

    • Deborah Waggett

      beautiful+brilliant = inspiring.

    • Anonymous

      Again – so happy to see natural hair!  She loks amazing. The wigs may be fun and easy but they are not as flattering as her natural self. I so agree with what she is saying.  so many actors are in the same position and those of color even more so.

    • Anonymous

      FINALLY. I’ve been waiting to see her hair and was totally sure that it would be gorgeous. And it is. LOVE.

    • elzatelzabelz

      Wow, powerful. Images and words.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

      that closeup on her face is goddamn flawless.

    • Anonymous

      TLO said: We didn’t even like The Help

      Thanks for saying that boys, while I loved Ms. Davis – even more in this feature! – that movie left me a might cold.

      srq

    • Jessica Goldstein

      Oh my! With wigs = very pretty woman. With natural hair = stunning woman. She’s a natural model, too.

    • Anonymous

      She looks fabulous. Just fabulous.

    • Anonymous

      “You can have all the training in the
      world, come from a respectable background and yet never get that big
      opportunity that breaks you out—never. [...] You can be in the business
      for 23 years, which I have been, and suddenly something happens that
      wakes people up.” Isn’t that the plight of about 99% of actors and musicians, not just women of color? I agree that it is much more difficult for women of color to break into acting, particularly when Hollywood types will only greenlight a movie with a 20-35 year old blond as the woman of interest, but that still doesn’t make it easy for anyone, regardless of color. It will take more black writers, financiers, and white audiences willing to support a movie with a cast that is not just a reflection of themselves. Hollywood has proven they will support anything that makes a buck. Now that Bridesmaids and 30 Rock have been so successful, there may be more women-oriented movies. Maybe…But writers write about what they know. It will take more black writers, good scripts, and compelling stories–there are plenty of them out there.That said–DAMN, the woman looks fabulous!

      • Anonymous

        You make a valid point but when Hollywood doesn’t give writers and actors of color a chance because of their skin not talent what do yah do?

        And don’t get me started on those damn Medea movies…

    • Anonymous

      What a spectacular woman. Thoughtful, intelligent, soulful and beautiful. Don’t ever put another wig on that gorgeous head of yours, dear. Magnificent. 

    • http://twitter.com/aStudiobytheSea a Studio by the Sea

      Completely striking.

    • http://twitter.com/LOfficielEbony TheVeryLivingEND

      I love her.

    • Anonymous

      GORGEOUS. She is younger looking and so much more attractive without the “hair hats” she normally wears.

      So refreshing to see an African American celebrity without a long blondish weave or photoshopped to make her skin appear lighter.

    • Anonymous

      Oh my…. *sputter, sputter* WOWWWWW! She is STUNNING. The Jason Wu moment is … I mean, she is just throwing that shit DOWN. 

      • Anonymous

        Oh, and I hate to reply to my own comment but I forgot to mention that my mom and I saw her on Broadway in “Doubt,” where she had one scene and left us gasping for breath. We were CLUTCHING each other and whispering, “Ohmygod, who was that amazing woman?”

    • Susan Crawford

      Shut. The. Front. Door. These photos are absolutely stunning! And Ms. Davis is giving SUPERB face in every shot. And T and Lo, I love that you loved the no-wig look – it is truly glorious to see a confident, strong woman rock the real beauty of a black woman’s hair!

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t even look like her. 

      Rock that natural Nubian queen beauty girl!

    • Anonymous

      She really does look stunning.  I’ve never seen her look like this before but wow what an edge.  She shouldn’t abandon the wigs altogether because that is part of what makes these photos so surprising fabulous.  Of course playing a stoic black woman all the time means she doesn’t often get to rock this look. But also can’t forget the important of styling and photography either. Just a great looking editorial.

    • Anonymous

       Yesss!! She looks fierce! Love everything she’s wearing, and that hair makes so much difference, just stunning!

    • Anonymous

      Beautiful, esp. the cover pic. 

    • Anonymous

      Superfantastiche! 

    • http://profiles.google.com/saramichelef Sarah Michele Ford

      Holy crap she’s stunning. I mean, I knew she was beautiful but these pictures took my breath away. I 100% agree about the hair/wigs. 

    • Anonymous

      She looks AMAZING!!!  And definitely younger with out the wigs.  Seriously stiking, beautiful face.  The wigs distract from her face, I never noticed just how gorgeous she is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TheChangling Michelle Lucas

      For my fellow nappies, Viola Davis just represented, to extreme levels of kinkiness!! Let there be kink on earth!!

    • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com/ Rebecca

      Takes my breath away–what a stunning and intelligent woman!

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      Wow.

    • Anonymous

      Fabulousness!

    • Anonymous

      WOW!

    • Anonymous

      love love love.  

    • Anonymous

      Wow…I’ll never look at her the same. So dramatic and joyful.

    • Anonymous

      WOW! She looks younger to me! A lot like Eva Pigford, in fact.

    • Anonymous

      Sweet holy mother of fuck that woman is STUNNING

    • Anonymous

      FIERCE. AS. FUCK.