Viola’s Oscar Loss Still a Victory for Rhode Island

When the envelope for Best Actress opened at the Oscar Night America Party in Providence, you could hear a pin drop. Although Meryl Streep took home the award, Rhode Islanders say Viola Davis's story is still a victory because she serves as a true inspiration and proof that dreams come true.

“I watched her on stage in the 9th grade and she was tremendous at that point and now she's just incredible,” Davis's childhood friend said.

Central Falls's own Viola Davis nominated for best actress for her role in “The Help.” The crowd at the Providence Oscar Night America could not be more proud of their hometown girl.

“It's finally happened for Rhode Island and for Rhode Island College and for Viola and for all the people who believe in her,” Nancy Carriuolo, the President of Rhode Island College said.

It is a real Cinderella story. Viola grew up the youngest of 6 children in Central Falls.
Thousands of miles away, the little girl everyone remembers walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards – something that has inspired so many in this state.

“She leaves a trail that if she can do it, you can do it. And I'd like to lead the same trail,” Renee Gonsalves said.

Everyone got to write their well wishes down in a book that will be given to Best Actress nominee. They also got to hear from Viola Davis herself in a letter she wrote specifically to this audience.

“You will all be with me at the Academy Awards. Know that as you celebrate this evening, I am with you in spirit and you are with me,” Davis said in an email that was read aloud at the event.

Through her words, you can hear exactly why Viola Davis means so much to Rhode Island.

“Viola is the metaphor for the American dream. She is the poster child for hard work and determination.”