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WATCH: Viola Davis Talks Emmy Speech, Prosecco With Ellen DeGeneres

WATCH: Viola Davis Talks Emmy Speech, Prosecco With Ellen DeGeneres

WATCH: Viola Davis Talks Emmy Speech, Prosecco With Ellen DeGeneres

Davis's husband was initially a bit mystified by her speech, admits the actress, who also says some sparkling wine helped her prepare for the ceremony.

Viola Davis’s husband was a bit mystified when she started her Emmy acceptance speech, the actress told Ellen DeGeneres today — and Davis also admitted she fortified herself with prosecco prior to the show.

When the How to Get Away With Murder star Sunday became the first African-American to win an Emmy as best lead actress in a drama, she began her acceptance speech by saying, “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”

“My husband [actor Julius Tennon] said afterwards, ‘V, I didn’t know where you were going with that,’” Davis said on DeGeneres’s talk show. “‘I really didn’t. When you were saying those white women with those arms stretched out over the line, I was like, What is she doing?’”

Tennon, Davis added, was relieved when she revealed it was a quote from 19th-century antislavery activist Harriet Tubman.

“I thought what you said was brilliant,” DeGeneres said, but added, “At first I thought you were drunk, maybe.” Davis said she drank a bit of prosecco while getting ready for the ceremony, while her 5-year-old daughter was trying on her Neil Lane jewelry and assuring her it didn’t matter if she won.

Watch the interview below.

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Trudy Ring