Viola Davis: Why I Stayed at George Clooney's Villa

01/15/2012 at 06:00 AM EST

Viola Davis: Why I Stayed at George Clooney's Villa
George Clooney and Viola Davis
Courtesy EW
It's a fantasy of countless women: Waking up in George Clooney's Italian villa on Lake Como.

But for The Help star Viola Davis, that dream was a reality. Only minus George, that is.

"I begged him to let me stay at his villa in Lake Como for my honeymoon," Davis, 46 – who married Julius Tennon in 2003 – tells Entertainment Weekly of her good friend and likely fellow Oscar contender.

"I wasn't there," adds the actor, 50. "That was her request!"

But Davis and her new husband didn't seem to miss him. "We were the only ones in the villa," she says. "It's a 22-room villa!" With plenty of luxurious extras to boot – when asked if she used Clooney's pizza oven, Davis joked: "I didn't make the pizza. His staff made the pizza.

And while he wasn't physically present, Clooney was only too happy to play host.

"I had just bought the place and she was getting married, which I tried to talk her out of," he tells the magazine with a laugh. "But that didn't work out."

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