Viola Davis, Ellen DeGeneres Show

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

Looks like Viola Davis relied on a little liquid courage before her powerful Emmys acceptance speech!

The How to Get Away With Murder star dished about the unforgettable evening during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, and it appears the hilarious talk show host might have caught on to Davis' pre-Emmys ritual. 

When asked if there was any preparation for the history-making victory speech, Davis admitted "sort of," adding, "I did want to mark the fact that it was the first African American to win in the Lead Actress category. I love that Harriet Tubman quote; I thought it was so progressive."

Davis added that Julius Tennon was taken aback by her passionate speech, saying, "My husband said afterwards: 'V, I didn't know where you were going with that. I really didn't. When you were saying those white women with their arms stretched out over the line I was like, what is she doing?'"

After accepting the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Davis touched on racial inequality in Hollywood by reciting the abolitionist.

"'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.'"

Back on Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres said she agreed with Tennon's sentiment, joking, "At first I thought you were drunk, maybe."

Davis playfully responded, "I drink my Prosecco before the show. And, you know what? I say that so often, Ellen, that I drink Prosecco before the show. So, I think that I'm coming off as the biggest alcoholic in the world."

And while Davis says she usually sips a cocktail on the ride over, this year's Emmys called for an earlier start time to calm the nerves: "This past time I drank while I was getting ready. While I was getting in hair and makeup, while my daughter was jumping on my lap, I drank. I just guzzled the glass."

Hey, whatever works! 

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