Viola Davis wasn’t going to try and be “the Vogue woman” on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” in which she plays no-nonsense top defence attorney and stoic college professor Annalise Keating.
That goal was certainly put to the test when the show asked her to shed her makeup and wig for an unforgettable scene just four episodes in to its freshman season.
“I felt like this was my chance to woman up,” she said in a cover story forTheWrap’s Emmy magazine. “Because I think that how we are as women, just in real life, is very interesting. And I think that in the hands of a woman — and I’d like to think that, in my professional life anyway, I have a certain braveness and boldness — I want to present women as they really are.”
In the scene, Annalise strips her makeup and wig just ahead of a confrontation with her husband. And Davis was going to make sure that she would represent herself truthfully.
“You know, as soon as you walk through the door, what do you do?” she explained to the website. “You take off your bra, you let your ti—-es sag, you let your hair come off — I mean my hair. I mean, I don’t have any eyebrows. I let my eyebrows be exactly what they are. And it’s me. And I wanted that scene to be somewhere in the narrative of Annalise. That who she is in her public life and who she was in her private life were absolutely, completely diametrically opposed to one another. Because that’s who we are as people. We wear the mask that grins and lies.”
And by the way, she did the scene in one take. Again, for very real reasons.
” I didn’t feel like putting that makeup on again,” the 49-year-old laughed. “So yes, absolutely it was one-take.”
Watch Davis describe the scene below:
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