New captures are in the gallery from Thursday’s all new episode of How to Get Away With Murder …
Tom Verica who portrays Sam Keating on How To Get Away With Murder (along with as a producer and director on Scandal) spoke with Vulture about playing opposite of Viola and how that is what drew him to going in front of the camera for this part.
Your main job was, and is, serving as a director/producer on Scandal. How did you end up back in front of the camera?
Last spring, as they were prepping the pilot for How to Get Away With Murder, I was prepping the finale for Scandal. The casting director called me up to feel me out and let me know what [the part] was. I hadn’t read the script, but I said, “Look, if it’s to play Viola Davis’s husband, I’d be very attracted to that.” But I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it because of [the Scandal finale]. The next thing I know, a couple hours later, Shonda comes into my office and says, “I want you to play this part. I have you in mind for it, and if we can make it work, I’d like you do it.” And when your boss asks you to do something, you kind of have to do it. It was a scheduling nightmare, but to get to flex my acting muscles opposite Ms. Davis? I didn’t see many downsides to it.
You mentioned before that the chance to work with Viola Davis was a key reason to take the role on Murder. What’s it been like so far?
It was a bit intimidating initially. She’s such a powerhouse. She has so much strength in her performance. It’s kind of like a tennis partner — you want to stay up with her, and as she’s giving it to you, you want to hit it back. As soon as you get into a scene, you strip away that outside knowledge and experience of who an actor is and what they’ve done before … you have to be present in that moment. Who she is and what’s she’s done has to go out the window. You have to commit to this relationship and who she is with me in that moment. But I’m so impressed and blown away with how dialed in she is to the character. She just elevates everything. I don’t think there’s any other character like hers on television.
To read the entire interview go here.
Check out the preview of the Winter Finale next Thursday!
The night of the bonfire reveals what led to Sam’s death.
Billy Bush went to the set of How To Get Away With Murder … and here is Access Hollywood’s coverage of the visit!
Added HQ captures from Thursday’s episode of How To Get Away with Murder. This show gets better every week!
Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson spoke with viola on her new series and how she has to warn her mother about those sex scenes in her new series!
Viola Davis is heating up the small screen as illustrious defense attorney Annalise Keating on ABC’s “How To Get Away with Murder,” with multiple steamy sex scenes in the show’s first seven episodes.
Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson visited the “HTGAWM” set, where Viola opened up about what’s ahead for Annalise’s love life.
(Hint: Annalise’s sex life is full steam ahead!)
“Get ready!” Viola told Shaun, when asked about Annalise “getting it on.”
The Academy Award-nominated actress said there’s one “HTGAWM” fan she has to pre-warn about upcoming sex scenes – her mom.
“I’ve gotta tell my mother beforehand so she has time to leave the house for about 3 or 4 minutes,” Viola said. “Because otherwise, I’m gonna be afraid to go back home to Rhode Island for the holidays!”
While the show’s many sex scenes (Annalise is definitely not the only character with an active love life!) are generating buzz, one of the series’ most talked about moments to date was inspired by a conversation between Viola and executive producer Shonda Rhimes.
“The conversation was, ‘Shonda, I want to take my wig off,'” Viola said, referencing a recent scene where Annalise removes her wig and all of her makeup on camera before confronting her husband about his infidelities. “You know, I said, ‘I do not want a scene where I’m going to bed at night with my wig on’ – we don’t [do that].
“That scene was two-fold,” she continued. “That scene was watching a woman prepare to go to bed at night, really watching it. I thought that that would be powerful, but I also thought that it would be powerful watching someone taking off a mask.”
Viola received support from two other well-known African-American actresses after that scene aired.
“[I heard from] Halle Berry and [‘Sleepy Hollow’ star] Nicole Beharie,” she revealed. “Halle Berry just said, ‘Girl, I had to send you an e-mail, you’re doing such a great job, I celebrate you.’ She’s always like that by the way. She’s very very, very supportive.”
“How To Get Away with Murder” airs Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC.
The USA Today did a story on Viola as she talks about her new series How To Get Away With Murder!
LOS ANGELES – Star litigator Annalise Keating is on the offensive, trying to get a judge to approve a gag order to protect her client, murder defendant Rebecca Sutter.
In a scene from Thursday’s episode of ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder (10 p.m. ET/PT), Annalise (Viola Davis) leans forward at the defense table, speaking righteously of the harm done by leaked information while brandishing a newspaper. She wins her motion easily and sits down, but is back up in seconds, arguing strongly against an opposing lawyer’s surprise request.
In the courtroom or the classroom, the defense lawyer and law professor is in command, earning the awe of a cadre of first-year law students hand-picked to work at her firm. Outside those venues, where her marriage is frayed and both she and her husband, Sam (Tom Verica), have been unfaithful, blunt forcefulness can melt into tears and uncertainty.
After a celebrated career that includes many supporting film roles, two-time Oscar nominee Davis (Doubt, The Help) enjoys being front and center on the drama, which is averaging 14.8 million viewers and is this fall’s top new show among young adults. And it caps ABC’s powerful Thursday lineup, following two other series produced by Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
“I’ve never had a role quite like this, that really shows all that I can do. I’m the lead of the show, someone who’s sexual, messy, mysterious, my age,” says Davis, 49. “I’ve never had someone who’s this complicated to work on.”
Annalise’s professional and personal lives are intertwined in the season’s central case, the murder of student Lila Stangard at the prestigious Philadelphia university where she teaches. She’s defending young drug dealer Rebecca (Katie Findlay), who’s accused of the crime, while trying to protect Sam, who had an affair with Lila.
As a lawyer, “She’s pretty ruthless. She wants to win at all costs,” says Davis, who describes Murder’s brisk legal proceedings as “some reflection of the law and some fiction.”
The students seek her favor, but worry about her wrath. “Because you admire her, there’s that fear of disappointing her,” says Aja Naomi King, who plays the overachieving Michaela. “There’s this fine line of, how can I be in your good graces and how do I not mess up?”
Murder creator Pete Nowalk says driven yet vulnerable Annalise “comes from a place where maybe not-so-happy things happened to her. She’s seen a lot of dark things that have made her have a very specific worldview, especially about the legal system: that justice doesn’t always come.”
Producers feel fortunate to have Davis — “a nuanced, emotionally driven actress who can play so many complexities,” Nowalk says – although they initially didn’t know if they could get her .
“I remember Pete being like, ‘I really want Viola,’ and me being like, ‘We all want Viola. Let’s send the script to her. She’s never going to say yes.’ And her saying yes,” says Rhimes. “She’s beautiful, sexy, talented and incredible. You can write anything for her to do or say and she pulls it off. And more important, she’s so enthusiastic about this project. She elevates everything.”
Murder operates on multiple tiers in terms of characters and stories. Annalise demands fealty from her smart but subservient law-firm associates, Bonnie (Liza Weil) and Frank (Charlie Weber), who oversee a diverse group of young law students — Wes (Alfred Enoch), Connor (Jack Falahee), Asher (Matt McGorry), Laurel (Karla Souza) and Michaela.
“Every time a new batch comes in, it’s a little bit thrilling for Bonnie and Frank, because the students are the only people they can really assert their power over,” Weil says.
Annalise’s chosen students often don’t play well together. “It’s survival of the fittest, the Darwinian peak of the pyramid,” says McGorry (Orange is the New Black), who plays law student Asher.. “There’s a lot of bumping of heads.”
Asher is the only student not directly involved in another ongoing plot, , the disposal of Sam’s lifeless, bloody body, which is seen in a series of flash-forward scenes set a few months after the first day of law school. The identity of Sam’s killer will be revealed on the Nov. 20 fall finale, and both Lila’s and Sam’s killings will be resolved in the remaining six episodes of the season, which returns January 29. “It feels like two mysteries, but it’s really one,” says Nowalk, who also has written for Grey’s and Scandal.
The situation will prove especially challenging for the mysterious Annalise, whom Davis calls neither sinner nor saint..
“We’re all a mixture of things that are very wonderful and beautiful and public and also a mix of things that are quite putrid,” she says. “And that’s what makes us human.”