Viola Davis Reveals How She Combats Mom Guilt: ‘I Forgive Myself’

Viola Davis
Viola Davis attends "Widows" New York Special Screening at Brooklyn Academy of Music on November 11, 2018 in New York City. John Lamparski/Getty Images

Oscar winner Viola Davis is teaching her 7-year-old daughter, Genesis, lessons that all little girls need to hear.

“I want her to honor herself, to love herself, to not compromise, to not stop when she makes a mistake and to understand that’s a part of her growth,” Davis, 53, told Us Weekly at a recent screening of her new film Widows in New York. The How to Get Away With Murder star noted that she wants Genesis to know that “beauty has very little or nothing to with with how she looks.”

The in-demand actress admitted she “always” feels guilt when she has to leave Genesis to go to work on a set. But at the same time, Davis has learned to be gentle herself. “I forgive myself,” Davis told Us. “I forgive myself daily.”

Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, adopted Genesis in 2011. The couple met when they shared a scene on the television show City of Angels . “He was the anesthesiologist, Dr. Holly, and I was Nurse Lannett,” she told Us Weekly in 2013. “We were passing blood in a scene. He knew how lonely I was. I was out in L.A. and I hated it and he said, ‘I’ll show you around Los Angeles. I’ll show you around the Santa Monica pier.’”

Tennon gushed to Us about Davis that same year. “She is the sweetest woman,” the Simone Biles Story star raved. “It’s so great to see her be all of who she is. That’s what I love about her.”

The Help actress and Tennon, 64, celebrated their 15-year anniversary in June.

Reporting by Alexandra Strausman