Entertainment TV Viola Davis Prayed for Husband Julius Tennon Before Meeting Him: 'I Said I Want a Big Black Man' "I said, 'If you give me that, I'll start going to church, God. I really will," Viola Davis says in PEOPLE's exclusive look at Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event, premiering Friday By Dory Jackson Dory Jackson Instagram Twitter Website Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation." People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 20, 2022 11:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Viola Davis says she had a little help from the heavens in landing her now-husband, Julius Tennon. In PEOPLE's exclusive look at Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event, the 56-year-old First Lady star opens up about how her relationship with Julius, 68, came to be. Viola tells Oprah Winfrey that one of her friends instructed her to pray for the kind of man she wanted. Because of that, the acclaimed actress says she listed off her desired qualities, which started with asking for "a big Black man." "He said, 'Viola, even the vacuous stuff, just put it all in there. Looks, everything,'" she recalls her friend saying. "I said, 'Really? With God? I gotta tell him that?' He's like, 'Yes. You gotta put it all out there.'" Adds Viola, "I went and I got on my knees." Viola Davis Opens Up About Bullying, Trauma in New Memoir: I Was 'Hiding a Huge Part of My Story' From there, Viola recalls the list of requirements she gave to God. "I said I want a big Black man from the South who's probably been married before. Has kids, because I don't want any pressure in that department," she begins. "Someone whose maybe been an actor who understands the artistic community," she continues. "Someone who goes to church and loves God. I said, 'If you give me that, I'll start going to church, God. I really will. I'm committed to it.' And then I signed off, just like writing a letter." The Academy Award winner's prayer soon became a reality. Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Viola says she met Julius three and a half weeks later. After tying the knot in 2003, the couple adopted daughter Genesis in 2011. She is also a step-parent to Julius' two children from past relationships. "Three and a half weeks later, I met Julius from Texas. ... Ex-football player, been married, raised his children on his own, was an actor. [He] invited me to church," she adds. "And I thought to myself, 'Whoa.'" Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. Viola's conversation with Oprah, 68, is a part of Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event. During this special event, the two A-listers discuss Viola's new memoir, Finding Me. The chat also leads Viola to open up about her upbringing and how she's learned to find peace in her life. Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event hits Netflix on Friday.