Viola Davis Did Nine Failed TV Pilots Before 'How To Get Away With Murder'

Viola Davis Did Nine Failed TV Pilots Before ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

Photo by Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Viola Davis continues to be a national treasure.

Over the weekend, a clip from a panel held at The Paley Center for Media went viral, which featured the cast and creator for How To Get Away With Murder.

In the clip, Davis opens up about past television pilots and how Shonda Rhimes and show creator Peter Nowalk listened and used her suggestions for Annalise Keating.

“I decided to never do TV ever again after I did nine failed TV pilots,” Davis recalled. “The last one I did, I worked an average of 21 hour days.”

The Emmy winner admits it was after a call with Rhimes that she changed her mind about television, joining what would become How To Get Away With Murder. She also opened up about changes made to the role of Annalise Keating that have since made the show what it is today.

“[Annalise] was not written for an African-American specifically, so, I think, they went out to Diane Lane, Jennifer Connelly, and they wanted to screen test me,” the actress said. “The network wanted to screen test me but my manager resisted and I was a little resistant.”

Davis admits she was a little wary of the role because Keating was “sexualized, sociopathic,” and jokingly added she was “used to wearing aprons and holding babies” for her roles.

The actress says she finally signed on after speaking with Nowalk, Rhimes and Rhimes’ producing partner Betsey Beers.

“I said, ‘I want to be a real woman.’ And, after that [conversation] I said yes and it totally changed my life.”

How To Get Away With Murder is currently in its sixth and final season.

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TOPICS: Celebrity Entertainment How to Get Away with Murder Viola Davis

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