Viola Davis Genesis Is Getting Into My Lipsticks!

08/23/2012 at 09:00 AM ET
Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Calling life since adopting daughter Genesis “wonderful,” new mom Viola Davis always has her little girl on her mind.

“I just had a conversation with her on the phone and she said, ‘Hey Mama, how you doing in New York?'” the actress, 47, tells PEOPLE while attending The MOM’s Mamarazzi event recently.

“She has been to New York, but she didn’t come on this trip as it is so short and I didn’t want to uproot her.”

There have been a few trials along the way — although she is hesitant to refer to it as the terrible twos stage — but Davis is choosing to see the positive in her 2-year-old’s constant curiosity.

“She’s written on the walls. She’s gotten into my lipsticks,” she says. “She calls it ‘lippy lips’ and when she gets into my lipsticks she puts it all over her face. I love kids and everything they do; I love their innocence.”

That innocence, adds Davis, is one she treasures — and will do everything to maintain. “I didn’t have a sense of security growing up. I grew up in dysfunction [and] in poverty, and it took me years of therapy … to make up for all the years that I had lost,” she explains.

“Now that I have a child I am just feeling like a bull in terms of protecting the security, the innocence [and] the power of having a beautiful child full of joy. It means everything to me.”

With a passion for education, the Won’t Back Down star admits she has high hopes for Genesis’ future — both inside and outside of the classroom.

“I want her to identify as a citizen of the world and not just her small community. I want her to feel like she can be instrumental in changing and shifting the world by using her education,” Davis explains, adding her latest role has left her “red hot” about the topic.

“It is a combination of the education she will be getting at school and the education she will be getting in terms of tapping into her voice and her authentic self. I do not want her to be a passive citizen.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Debra Lewis-Boothman

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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lovethisfam on

The article says she didn’t want to say “terrible two’s” and People still made it appear she said this…..I thought that was in poor taste. As a mother who has adopted I would also NEVER say that for the child might see that later and have those very issues she was talking about….. and unless you have adopted you cannot understand this…..

Jen DC on

@ lovethisfam: Really? So you’ve never lovingly criticized or commented on your adopted child’s/children’s behavior? That’s an odd stance to me… If anything, the loving criticism and discipline should (eventually) prove to the child that s/he is loved and fully accepted as a member of the family and not a special outsider with rules that only apply to him/her.

Marky on

Jen DC, that is very true. Perhaps “lovethisfam” has recently adopted, and is still finding her way around as a new parent. I have both bio and adopted children who are all adults now, and the thing that made them feel totally secure and totally loved was that they were not treated differently. Every child has some needs different from their siblings, but the core treatment should be the same. My cousins were adopted and they felt the same way. 🙂

“lovethisfam”, adoption is great, it is not a negative thing for you OR the child.

Anonymous on

Awww, she sounds like a great mother!

lovethisfam on

Perhaps I didn’t explain that well enough…the article was misleading yesterday. People made it appear Viola said something she didn’t. That’s what I didn’t agree with. Seeing the article with a differnet headline this morning made all the difference in the world. I am quite proud of being an adoptive mother. I stand by my stance however, unless you have done it you cannot understand….

Kat on

I find when people say ‘if you never have, you cannot understand,’ use is as a why to negate other’s opinions on a matter. If you choose to do something for your child it is as a mother, not an ‘adoptive’ mother, as a mother. Adopted or natural, that is your child. Some people don’t want to be critical or use labels, but that is a parenting style, not ‘the adoptive parent’ parenting style. And yes, I have adoption in my family.

My little girl is around her age, and is always in my makeup. She loves when I play powder her face. Sounds like Genesis is have fun mimicing her mommy!