When you hear about things like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s luxurious Italian wedding, George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s crazy huge British mansion, and the long list of other pricey and materialistic things celebrities often get to enjoy, it’s easy to forget that not all of them came from a place of wealth and success before their careers took off. At Variety’s Power of Women event on Friday, one actress, Viola Davis, recalled her own tough times in poverty, reminding everyone once again that even the famous experience their own hardships in life.
The How to Get Away With Murder star was recognized at the luncheon for her humanitarian work with the Hunger Is campaign. During the event, Davis opened up about her own personal history with hunger and poverty when she was a child in a moving speech that's sure to bring tears to your eyes.
“I was one of the 17 million kids in this country who didn’t know where the next meal was coming from, and I did everything to get food,” Davis said. “I have stolen for food. I have jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food. I have befriended people in the neighborhood, who I knew had mothers who cooked three meals a day for food and I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame.”
Davis’s speech was not only extremely powerful, but it’s even more heartwarming knowing that as someone who now holds so much power in Hollywood after everything she went through, Davis made it her mission to help children and families in poverty to fight hunger and supply them with the food they need.
Also lauded at the event for their work were actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda.
Check out footage of Davis' speech below.