‘HTGAWM’ Creator Pete Nowalk on Viola Davis Making Him Cry

Pete Nowalk speaks with Variety about his hit series How to Get Away with Murder and includes about working with Viola.

Pete Nowalk had a whirlwind TV season last year as the creator of Shondaland’s mega-hit “How To Get Away With Murder.”

Just as the second season of the twisty Viola Davis legal thriller is about to begin, Nowalk — one of Variety‘s 2015 Showrunners Impact Report honorees — looks back at Season 1, offering up his favorite moments, including tears from Davis and dance moves from Matt McGorry (who plays law student Asher).

Here, showrunner Nowalk talks to Variety about his best memories from “How To Get Away With Murder’s” big breakout season:

Best note: “When I originally pitched the show to ABC Studios, they encouraged me to go darker with Annalise (Viola Davis) to make her more of an anti-hero, which surprised me. With network TV, you’re always afraid to get the likable note, but they gave me the exact opposite. I could be more unhinged with the darker side of Annalise, which is the most fun part of the show for me to write.”

Worst note: Nothing that scarred me. I’m so spoiled because Shonda (Rhimes) and Betsy (Beers, pictured) guard me from the bad notes. I think they protect me!

Favorite writers’ room moment: We have real lawyers come and talk to us — defense attorneys and prosecutors — and this one prosecutor told us how to reenact the best way to get away with murder. He made me stand up and he reenacted pushing me off of a cliff. Creepy because you don’t really want to find out the best way to get away with murder and you definitely don’t want it to be reenacted on you, but it actually gave us this idea to do a reenactment of a murder with Steven Weber in episode two of Season 1. So that was fun just because it was so much like the show, and it was so creepy.

Proudest moment during Season 1: I was happy we won the GLAAD award because there are so many good shows on right now that have so many great gay characters, which is so new, but I was proud because Connor (Jack Falahee) is a bad person sometimes. He does bad things. So I was just happy it showed that we didn’t have to write a gay character to be perfect and be a role model. He actually does things opposite of a role model — like murder, having a lot of anonymous sex and cheating on his boyfriend. That just felt very liberating and progressive to me and surprising. I never expected we’d win those awards because they’re bad people. But as a writer, it was very liberating.

Scene that made you laugh: Matt McGorry dancing is the thing that cracked me up the most. He’s just like humping and the couch and he just improvised all that stuff and went to town. It was way better than I could have ever expected. It’s necessary. People need that comic relief.

Scene that made you cry: That’s the scene between Cicely Tyson and Viola Davis where Cicely Tyson is revealing that she actually burned down the house and killed the uncle that had sexually abused Annalise. Viola doesn’t say a word in that, but so much of it played on her face, but the first time I saw that, I sobbed.

“How To Get Away With Murder” Season 2 premieres Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Viola Davis talks historic Emmy win on Ellen

Viola Davis is not letting go of her Emmy — which she won Sunday for her starring role in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder — anytime soon: The Oscar-nominated actress (and her Emmy) appeared on Ellen following her win to talk about sleeping with the pointy award, making history, and her husband’s initial reaction to her speech.

Davis kicked off her acceptance speech with a quote from Harriet Tubman, one she loved and thought was “so progressive.” “And my husband said afterwards, ‘V, I didn’t know where you were going with that! I really didn’t!’” Davis said, laughing. “When you were saying those white women with their arms stretched out over the line, I was like ‘What is she doing?’ But he said, ‘When you said Harriet Tubman said it, I was like, ‘Oh my God, thank God.’”

DeGeneres, for her part, initially thought Davis was “drunk maybe” — and Davis admitted to drinking prosecco before the show as she was getting ready. “This past time, I drank while I was getting ready, while my daughter was jumping on my lap,” Davis said, referring to her 5-year-old daughter. “I just guzzled the glass.”

Watch both parts of the interview below to hear more about Davis’ daughter — who told her mom she would still be her “favorite girl” even if she lost — and what it was like winning her first Emmy.

(Source)

‘HTGAWM’ Stars On Viola Davis’ Historic Emmy Win

Viola’s co-stars Aja Naomi King, Alfred Enoch and Karla Souza did an interview this week with Access Hollywood and spoke about Viola’s Emmys win and the new season of How to Get Away with Murder.

Viola’s Emmys Acceptance Speech!

Here is a video clip of Viola’s beautiful acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards.

In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line. That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,”

Viola Davis on Jon Hamm Congratulating Her on Her Historic Emmys Win: ‘He’s Pretty Handsome’

People.com shares how excited she was when anyone congratulated her on her win!

Sunday was a big night for Viola Davis.

The 50-year-old made history at Sunday’s 67th Emmy Awards by becoming the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. But amid the barrage of praises and well-wishes following her historic win, kudos from a certain newly-single actor seemed to stand out from the rest.

“Jon Hamm!” Davis told PEOPLE in the Emmys press room about the Mad Men star congratulating her after her win. “He’s pretty handsome.”

She said that her husband congratulated her too, before adding, “I’m excited when anyone congratulates me.”

“You guys have to realize, I’ve been in this business 35 years, and 27 years professionally … I’m just excited to be part of the conversation. I’ve seen the unemployment line a lot, man.”

Now, to celebrate, Davis said she has two things on her mind: calling her daughter and eating.

“Bread. Desert,” she told reporters before adding: “You know, if you eat bread in Hollywood you’re subversive.”

The actress won the Emmy for her portrayal of Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. She delivered an emotional acceptance speech, highlighting the struggles black actresses face. She thanked other actresses of color including Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good and Taraji P. Henson, who was nominated for the same award.

But The Help actress had more to say about Henson off the stage:

“Taraji P. Henson, and it’s very, very, very rare to find this in the business. She is the most supportive actress you can possibly imagine, supportive in ways you can’t even begin to understand, and is genuine.

“I’ve been in this business close to 30 years, and I would put her at the top of this list in terms of support,” Davis continued. “We just whispered to each other, whoever gets it, it’s great, it’s wonderful and I love you.”

Viola at the Emmy Awards

A giant congratulations to Viola! She is the first African American winner for the Emmy in the Leading Actress category! So proud of her and so happy she is recognized for her role as Annalise Keaton on How to Get Away with Murder.

Here are some images from her big night!

Gallery Links:
Viola Davis Online > September 20 | Emmy Awards – Audience
Viola Davis Online > September 20 | Emmy Awards – Ceremony
Viola Davis Online > September 20 | Emmy Awards – Backstage
Viola Davis Online > September 20 | Emmy Awards – Press Room
Viola Davis Online > September 20 | Emmy Awards – HBO Party

Viola Davis Online is back!

Due to some things in my life I had to temporarily close this site earlier in the year but am so excited to bring the site back! I am still reuploading the gallery so there are some broken links there but the site will be back up quickly!

Thanks for your patience! And be sure to follow us on twitter.

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