Viola Davis Reflects On 20-Year Marriage To Husband Julius Tennon

Laughter is one of the keys to the success of the 20-year marriage of EGOT winner Viola Davis and her husband, producer Julius Tennon.

The couple shared a charming anecdote on the red carpet this week where she was honored with the Chaplin Award at New York City’s Lincoln Center.

When asked about the last time they “fell in love” with each other. The couple excitedly shared a story exclusively to People, “Oh man, it must have been Thanksgiving,” Davis, 57, as she and Tennon gazed at each other.

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” Tennon, 69, added as they excitedly talked over each other, becoming lost in the story together.

Davis added, “There was only one turkey, though, [and] a big pot of stuffing,” as her husband offered with a smile, “And three days of eating it all.”

“And three bottles of wine,” the actress said warmly, and added, “We just laughed.”

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Davis was honored by Film at Lincoln Center with its prestigious Chaplin Award which is awarded to some of cinema’s most outstanding talents. Davis was presented with the award after tributes from Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain. Steve McQueen, Gina Prince-Bythewood, George C. Wolfe, and Jayme Lawson.

According to a statement, the evening encompasses a joyful celebration of the actor and producer’s incredible body of work featuring notable speakers and film clips, culminating in the presentation of the Chaplin Award.

“Viola Davis brings her tremendous skill and fierce emotional intelligence to everything she does,” said Lesli Klainberg, president of Film at Lincoln Center. “The range of her accomplishments is remarkable—as an actor in film, television, and theater; as a producer opening doors for new voices; and as an inspirational memoirist. She is truly a force. We are honored to dedicate an evening to celebrating her achievements and talents at the 48th Chaplin Award Gala.”

People also asked Davis how she stays relatable and approachable despite her amazing accomplishments. “That’s everything right there! I’m serious. That’s everything.”

“And you allow them to come to you — and speak,” she said about how she makes younger generations of women feel comfortable with her on set. “You have to treat them like peers. There’s no one above anyone else.”

Davis concluded, “And I’ll tell you one thing: If you’re number one on the call sheet, that’s your responsibility. And you set the tone. You want to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

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