Viola Davis Shares That Portraying Annalise Keating On ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Was Her First Non-Stereotypical Role
Viola Davis and Samuel L. Jackson, 73, recently sat down to discuss their legendary careers in the acting industry.
In a recent interview with Samuel L. Jackson, actress Viola Davis, 56, reflected on her role in the popular series “How To Get Away With Murder.” Viola Davis plays Annalise Keating, a criminal defense attorney and law professor at Middleton University who brings on five law students to work with her on multiple murder cases. The Emmy-award-winning six-season series initially aired on September 25, 2014, and concluded on May 14, 2020.
During her chat with Samuel L. Jackson, Viola shared that every role she plays is a different experience. She explained:
“No. It’s a huge challenge. My big thing is you’re not always going to be put in a perfect situation as an actor. You’re going to get on set, and all of a sudden, you’re given a scene, it’s like, ‘that scene changes everything. She’s killing another person? Why?’ Then you have to make sense out of it.”
Davis continued and touched on how career-changing her role as Annalise was :
“For me, with Annalise, I was given an opportunity, especially as a dark-skinned Black woman, 47 years old. She’s sexualized; she’s sociopathic. It gave me a vessel to be an unpredictable, messy woman. And I find that when, for instance, if you see a white woman on-screen, you could say, ‘she looks like my mother.’ A lot of studio heads would say, ‘she could look like my sister, my aunt, the woman who I wanted to marry.’ You see the possibilities. That wasn’t me in my career. My possibilities were the crack addicts, the mothers who were in challenged situations watching their sons die, the ambiguous lawyer or the judge.”
The NAACP Image Award winner added:
“And I was happy to get them — don’t get me wrong. I made the most of it. But this was the first opportunity I had to play a woman. And it was in the midst of a melodrama. We can admit a lot of the situations were fantastical, but it was still my opportunity to boldly step out and make choices that could surprise people and make people really see me as a woman.”
I love listening to Viola talk about playing Annalise pic.twitter.com/IlEMA5Whfk
— ?Batty Bae? (@TerryTorro) June 12, 2022
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