The new OWN original series “Black Love” examines all aspects of marriage. From dating to parenting and beyond, very personal stories are shared by some of your favorite celebrity couples. Viola Davis sat down with her husband of 14 years and talked about how they met and their very first date.
Long before Davis became a lead actress on a hit television show or even had a shot at winning an Oscar, she was just a single woman in a huge city looking for companionship. Julius Tennon overhead Davis discussing her dilemma with a friend and decided to seize the moment. He approached her, introduced himself, and gave her his business card. Tennon made it very clear that he wanted to see her again.
Ask and ye shall receive, they say. Davis found Tennon’s proposition intriguing. After all, he was a BMW (Black Man Working) who once played college football and was pursuing a career in acting and film. But Davis asked herself what’s the one thing that could derail this budding relationship? Credit. Viola’s was bad and she didn’t know how to tell Tennon.
Eventually, the two decided to go on their first date. Tennon didn’t waste any time putting all of his cards on the table. His transparency was both refreshing and scary, putting it mildly.
“I was terrified because he told me exactly who he was–he was absolutely honest about his past,” Davis said.
The pair was obviously smitten with one another. When Tennon dropped Davis off at home, he shook her hand, and told her she was a very nice and beautiful woman whose company he thoroughly enjoyed.
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…
Just 20 minutes after leaving Davis’ house, Tennon called her.
“I said, ‘You got home already?'” Davis recounted. “He said, ‘No, I’m at the Ralph’s down the street, but I just wanted to tell you again what a great time I had and what a beautiful woman you are.'”
Another 20 minutes passed and Davis’ phone rang a second time.
“He called again: ‘I just want to tell you I got home, and you are a beautiful woman,'” Davis said. “I’m about to go to sleep, and I just wanted to tell you to have a good night.'”
In time, the “How To Get Away With Murder” star finally mustered up the nerve to be as honest with Tennon as he had been with her.
“I was so nervous until I had finally told him, ‘Julius, I have bad credit,” Davis said. “He said, I knew your Black a** had bad credit the moment I met you. But that’s alright, I got good credit. We can use up my credit.”
The couple married in 2003 and are still going strong. They say that how you start is how you finish. If you can have a first date as sweet as Viola Davis and Julius Tennon did, you just might have a keeper!