Viola Davis and her daughter Genesis are magazine cover costars!
For W Magazine's new Directors Issue, out April 6, the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom actress, 55, is joined by her husband Julius Tennon and their 10-year-old for an emotional photo essay directed by Regina King. The project is titled Black Americana: A Photo Essay on Love and Pain and depicts a happy family enjoying a day together, then receiving a devastating phone call the following morning.
"I don't think any of us are particularly happy with the state of America, but we still embrace the fact that we are Black Americans, even with all of the things that have happened in history," King, 50, says of the photo essay's inspiration.
Adds Davis, "There's a life beyond the tragedy, there's life even within the tragedy, and there was a life before the tragedy. That you can be experiencing moments of joy when tragedy comes in and invades your life, and then it melts into something else — we understand that about life in general, but not always with Black folks in it. This is the first time I've ever done a photo shoot like this."
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Viola Davis' Most Adorable Photos With Her Daughter Genesis
The trio pose in character throughout the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, with Davis and Genesis appearing in several sweet mother-daughter snapshots. The project was photographed by Andre D. Wagner and styled by Ruth E. Carter.
Included in the written piece that accompanies the photo essay, a behind-the-scenes moment features Genesis calling King a "legend" — and the One Night in Miami director insisting she call her "Auntie Regina."
"I'm talking to a legend right now," Genesis says, as King responds, "Well, your mom is a legend."
"What would you like me to call you?" Genesis asks while noting that Davis "might want me to call you Ms. King." King says they can be on a first-name basis, or "you can call me whatever your mom wants you to call me. By the end of this, you'll be calling me Auntie Regina!"
Viola Davis Models Ivy Park Outfits with Daughter Genesis, 10: 'Thank You Beyoncé!'
Davis and husband Julius Tennon welcomed their daughter into their family via adoption back in 2011. Celebrating her 10th birthday in July, Davis gushed on Instagram about Genesis, whom she called "our heartbeat, our love, our baby."
Davis opened up to PEOPLE in 2019 about parenting, saying her love for Genesis "surpasses anything that I could want from the material world."
"I empower her to understand that she has to count it all as joy. Even her mistakes, her failures, her triumphs, what she looks like, all of it. That's all a part of her loving herself, even if none of those things change," she said at the time.
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