Poor upbringing motivated me to be a successful actor, says Viola Davis who took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Fences.
The 51-year-old actress, in an interview with the People magazine, has spoken about her experience growing up in poverty living in a one-bedroom cabin in her grandmother's farm in Rhode Island which was infested with rats.
"It became motivation as opposed to something else - the thing about poverty is that it starts affecting your mind and your spirit because people don't see you.
I chose from a very young age that I didn’t want that for my life. And it very much has helped me appreciate and value the things that are in my life now because I never had it. A yard, a house, great plumbing, a full refrigerator, things that people take for granted, I don’tViola Davis
Speaking to the magazine, she also said that her family was too poor to take a photo and she had a single photo of herself as child.
“I was the kind of poor where I knew right away I had less than everyone around me...[We had] shoddy plumbing and no phone and no food and rats and all of that. That very much was visible to me,” she said.
According to reports, these experiences made her a very grounded actor even after becoming a prominent face in Hollywood.
She is an ambassador for initiative Hunger Is, an organization dedicated to building awareness and raising funds to eradicate childhood hunger.
In 2015, talking to AARP about her struggles during childhood, she said her experiences with hunger made her choosing to become the brand ambassador of the organisation.
"Most of the time, the school lunch was the only meal I had. I would befriend kids whose mothers cooked three meals a day and go to their homes when I could," she said.