Viola Davis Says Her Role As Annalise Keating On ‘HTGAWM’ ‘Meant Everything To Me’

Viola Davis recently shared what it’s been like to play Annalise Keating for six seasons on How to Get Away with Murder.

Since its pilot premiered on ABC in 2014, HTGAWM has shocked its fans with its twists and turns that Annalise and the “Keating five” have endured each season. The high-profile criminal defense attorney and law professor led her students Michaela (Aja Naomi King), Wes (Alfred Enoch), Laurel (Karla Souza), Connor (Jack Falahee), and Asher (Matt McGory) to a world of crime and murder throughout the series. However, she remained a favorite by fans of the show.

For Davis, Annalise has changed things for the better. In her interview with Hollywood Life, the Academy Award winner discussed how the role made her tap into areas of her life she hadn’t before she played it. She also admired how her character’s imperfections were celebrated as well.

“It’s meant everything to me,” Davis shared of playing Annalise. “She gave me permission to see all of my womanhood and to not apologize for it, to not apologize for being a certain size, a certain hue, for having a deep voice, dark skin, not being a so-called classic beauty, whatever that means. She made me step into my truth and my authenticity without apology because oftentimes leading ladies are not played by actresses who look like me.”

Although she had been working in Hollywood for years prior to HTGAWM, Davis said Annalise was the first role that made audiences change their perception of her. The show was the actress’s first leading part on television. The Shondaland series was also something that Davis credits for shifting the course of her career.

After the success of HTGAWM, Davis took home an Emmy for her role as Annalise in 2015. She also earned an Oscar for Fences, where she starred alongside Denzel Washington. Davis filmed Fences while she was working on the ABC drama.

Even though Annalise changed the course of her life, Davis admitted that it’s not hard to say goodbye to a character she has played for six years. She added that she is looking forward to playing new roles, now that the series has shot its last few episodes.

The spring premiere for HTGAWM premieres on Thursday, April 2. TV Insider reports that the final six episodes of the season will wrap up questions that have been lingering over the past six seasons. The season will also show where Annalise has been hiding after going on the run in the show’s winter finale.

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