Entertainment Tonight: On Set With TV’s Sexiest Show, ‘How To Get Away To With Murder’

Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier meets up with Viola on the set of How To Get Away With Murder to talk the sex scenes, the advice she got from other TV leading ladies and more.

It’s the show that everyone can’t stop talking about, and only ET was on set to get you the inside scoop.

ABC’s newest smash series How to Get Away with Murder has been making headlines left and right with their ultra-steamy scenes, heart pounding drama and phenomenal cast. Plus, did we mention that the freshman drama’s leading lady Viola Davis absolutely slays each and every scene she’s in? Long story, short: If you’re not tuning in to Shonda Rhimes’ newest production, you’re missing out on some spectacularly compelling TV.

ET’s Kevin Frazier traveled deep into the heart of Shondaland for an exclusive interview with Davis about her dynamic onscreen alter ego and how staying true to herself has proved to be the best advice a girl could ever hear.

Although fans have described Davis’ character as strong, powerful, sexy — and even a little mean — the Oscar-nominated actress says it has been “wonderful” to embody such an authoritative and strong woman in today’s TV. “It has been the greatest challenge of my life, to humanize her,” David explained. “It’s just been great.”

One of the most intriguing aspects of Davis’ law professor character, Annalise Keating, is her ability to take charge in each and every room she’s in. Whether that’s the courtroom, the classroom, or the bedroom — she rules them all. “It’s great to be a part of this imagination playground,” she shared with ET. “That’s where you want to be as an actor.”

Davis also revealed that one of the biggest surprises she has experienced on HTGAWM is how much she’s “enjoying” Annalise’s sexy flirtations and steamy scenes. “I don’t tell my husband that, because I love him so much, but I’m enjoying surprising people,” Davis admitted. “I know they’re looking at it like, ‘Is that Aibileen Clark from The Help?’ But that’s exciting to me… It shows my range.”

And there’s plenty of sexy range to show off. “Thank God for body makeup,” Davis said, laughing.

Life hasn’t always been easy for the 49-year-old actress. Davis recently opened up at Variety’s Power of Women event about her bleak beginnings and hungry childhood growing up in Rhode Island. “I did everything to get food,” she said. “I have stolen for food. I have jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food… I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame.”

Davis told ET that after living through that hardship, there is one thing that she wishes she could tell a young Viola: Be yourself. “The biggest thing I would tell her is that she’s perfect, just the way she is,” she said. “I always tried to be someone else. I tried to be Sofia Lauren. I tried to be Cindy from The Brady Bunch. I tried to be everything I felt was accepted — and [now] I think I was perfect just the way I was.”

So when one reviewer wrote that, as a leading woman, Davis could be considered “less classically beautiful,” the actress was able to power through the criticism. “I have to say that it didn’t totally throw me. You hear it when you’re a dark-skinned woman. I’ve heard it my entire life.”

When other women flocked to social media to post their support and self-portraits using the hashtag #LessClassicallyBeautiful, Davis said, “It made me cry. I look at it every time I need inspiration.”

For a deeper peek into tonight’s all-new scandalous episode of How to Get Away with Murder, take a look at our video above.

How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Click Continue Reading to watch the video interview.

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Next on HTGAWM | He Deserved to Die

A judge issues a gag order, disrupting Annalise and the team’s work on Rebecca’s case, so the defendant takes matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, Michaela is floored by a prenuptial agreement; Laurel and Frank’s relationship heads in a new direction; and a flash-forward reveals more about the bond between Wes and Rebecca.

Learn More about Viola Davis and The Hunger Is Campaign

While I admire Viola as an actress her charity work to help raise awareness and support for Childhood Hunger is one of the things I admire the most … I have done a page on the site to help share about this organization and the work Viola is doing for it.

Go visit the Hunger Is page to find out more about Childhood Hunger and what YOU can do to help Viola in this fight! Do not let another child go hungry.

HTGAWM | More Freakin’ Whack-a-Mole Stills

A bunch more stills were released from tonight’s episode of How To Get Away With Murder! Check out the gallery for HQ versions!

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > How to Get Away with Murder {2014-Present} > Season One > Episode Stills > 01×06 | Freakin Whack A Mole

Who Is Being Threatened With Jail Time on How to Get Away With Murder?

To watch a clip of the scene from tonight’s episode go to E!Online.

It looks like everyone underestimated Wes (Alfred Enoch)—especially Annalise (Viola Davis)!

In tonight’s episode of How to Get Away With Murder, Wes is still seriously pissed at his professor for lying to him about Lila’s case and the fact that her husband, Sam (Tom Verica), was in fact her Mr. Darcy, and he isn’t afraid to call Annalise out.

In our exclusive sneak peek from the ABC hit, Annalise pays Wes an unexpected visit at his apartment, only to have the group’s resident “puppy” show off some serious bite…

“Stop this,” Wes tells Annalise, when she takes a seat on his bed and asks him what he wants. Whoa, is she trying to seduce Mr. Gibbins in order to keep him quiet?!

Too bad Wes isn’t in the mood for more of Annalise’s manipulation, threatening to make a major move against her. Press play on our exclusive video above to see the intense showdown!

And any HTGAWM fan knows this isn’t the first time Annalise has made an inappropriate move around Wes, rubbing his nipple in the series premiere, which was an unscripted moment, creator Peter Nowalk revealed to us. “That’s what I love about Viola,” he said. “The script says that she touches him inappropriately and she went there. She is game for those weird moments.”

How to Get Away With Murder airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Star Viola Davis Explains Why Annalise Keating’s Wig Has To Come Off

Viola talks to the Huffington Post on why Annalise had to take her wig off in the final scene of How To Get Away with Murder’s episode.

‘Annalise Keating is all over the place,” says the woman behind her on screen, Oscar nominee Viola Davis, “I’m concerned with my health. She just wants power. She wears a heavy duty mask every day, which must be exhausting. I couldn’t do it.”

Annalise Keating is the central figure in ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ – a thriller drama from the guiding hand of Shonda Rhimes, the one-woman game-changer who, with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and more recently ‘Scandal’, has been credited with redefining the role of women of colour on US primetime TV, something of which Viola is in no doubt.

“She redefined us as something bold and strong,” she asserts, sounding both of these down the phone. “We’re no longer supporting, we’re not necessarily nurturing, we’re not asexual. We’re none of it. And Shondra doesn’t apologise or make a big deal of it. So the viewer simply forgets, and we can all get on with the story.”

When ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ debuted in the States, along with acclaim for its zinging storyline of law professor Keating and her students becoming entangled in a murder conspiracy that shakes the entire university – think ‘Scandal’ meets ‘The Secret History’ – there came an admiring but controversial article by New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley, describing Rhimes as “an angry black woman” and Viola Davis as “not classically beautiful”. How’s this stunningly beautiful actress feeling about those words today?

She laughs. “I think those kind of statements have been heard by women of colour their entire lives.

“It’s a label, and I’m pleased that the reaction it caused meant we were part of a huge moment in history.

“So many women were messaging, using the hashtag #notclassicallybeautiful, with pictures of themselves – afros, crew cuts, weaves, you name it. It was phenomenal.”

With this seamless, segue into the topic of hair, I must ask Viola about a key scene for Annalise Keating – the moment when she divests herself of her trinkets, her designer clothes and finally, and significantly, her wig. That must have been quite a moment to film…

“I pushed for that to happen.” says Viola. “I said, she’s not going to bed with her wig on.

“It could be powerful and liberating, but she’s got to take her wig off. Because who Annalise is in public is a big fat lie, and we have to see her taking off the armour, which is so thick, it becomes all the more dramatic when she removes it, and you see all the pain.”

“I did feel vulnerable,” she confides of this momentous scene that will surely come to voters’ minds come Awards Season, before laughing, “but still not as vulnerable as doing all the sex scenes. When I know members of my family are going to be watching.”

Viola Davis Reveals Lesson Meryl Streep Taught Her

I found this recent interview that Viola did with ABC news and had to post … she shares the lesson she learned from working with Meryl Streep.

More ABC US news | ABC Health News

For Viola Davis, being the face of “How to Get Away With Murder” has meant a lot of responsibility but she’s embraced it with grace, thanks to lessons she picked up from fellow actress Meryl Streep.

Davis appeared with Streep in 2008′s “Doubt” alongside Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“When I got that role, I thought I had won the lottery — I cannot even tell you,” Davis said. “Meryl Streep is the greatest actress because you can see so many different emotions going on in her eyes. … It’s a joy as an artist.”

She said that on the movie’s set, Streep had asked for her colleagues’ opinions and never let them hide in the background.

“I see her consciously make that effort knowing what her responsibility is from the moment she steps on. And she does it as much as she can,” Davis said. “And I respected that and honored that.”

On the hit ABC show, Davis plays Annalise Keating, a criminal defense attorney and law school professor at a fictional school.
“‘How to get away with murder’ is her way of being dramatic. … [She] takes her job very seriously and also just wants to provoke these students, wants to manipulate them,” she said. “The classroom is her stage. … She’s MY sexy.”
Davis, who was nominated for Oscars for her role in “The Help” as well as “Doubt,” said she is aware of the example she sets the moment she steps on the show’s sound stage.
“I know that I set the mood and the groundwork and foundation in which people have to create,” Davis said. “And I gotta tell you the person I learned that from is Meryl Streep.”

Davis was one of six siblings. All but one was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, on the Singleton plantation.

She moved north in 1965 when she was just a baby. Her father groomed horses at the racetrack. Her mother worked at a factory periodically. She has been outspoken about not having enough food when she was growing up in abject poverty in Rhode Island.

“I remember always thinking when I was a kid, remember thinking when people would look at me and go, ‘Oh I know she’s poor. … I would think, ‘Just give me some food and I could take care of the rest,” she said. “Just give me some fuel, you know? But there was such a shame and stigma attached to it.”

She now works with The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation on their Hunger Is campaign to eradicate childhood hunger. She is being given an award by Hunger Is tonight for her work with the campaign.

“It’s been cathartic to say I was hungry,” she told ABC News. “I was. I was a hungry kid who could never get at the business of being me, you know? … So it’s my joy and my pleasure to be a part of this campaign.”

Davis said her struggles had helped her appreciate the achievements.

“I just wanted to find something that I really loved and to build a life around it — and so that’s what I did,” she said.

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