Viola Davis suffers from 'impostor syndrome'

Viola Davis
Viola Davis shows off her Oscar in the 89th Annual Academy Awards Pressroom. ( Apega/

Oscar winner Viola Davis fears she will never feel fully comfortable with her huge career success because she suffers from "impostor syndrome".

The "Fences" star landed the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday for her role in the family drama, after previously earning nominations for her work in 2008's "Doubt" and 2011's "The Help."

The Academy Award will take pride of place alongside her other accolades, including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and an Emmy, but despite the continued critical acclaim, Davis worries she will one day be exposed as a fraud.

Speaking moments after her Oscars win, the 51-year-old told ABC News, "It feels like my hard work has paid off but at the same time I still have the impostor syndrome. I still feel like I'm going to wake up and everybody's going to see me for the hack I am.

"I still feel like when I walk on the set, I'm starting from scratch until I realise, 'OK, I do know what I'm doing, I'm human.' "

Viola reveals she has only recently started to feel confident in her talents onscreen, but there are times when she is still dogged by nerves and self-doubt.

"I know I'm not the best but I'm proud of myself," she said. "This is the first year I've allowed myself just a little bit to realise that self-deprecation is not the answer to humility, that sometimes you can say, 'I deserve it', that I'm proud of myself, and move on."

The actress was moved to tears upon hearing her name called out at the Academy Awards, and backstage, the emotional star continued to express her shock at how far she had come from her poverty-stricken beginnings.

"I can't believe my life...," she gasped to reporters. "I grew up in poverty. I grew up in apartments that were condemned and rat-infested. I just always sorta wanted to be somebody... I just wanted to be good at something, so this is sorta like the miracle of God."

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