Viola Davis Was 'Mortified' When She Saw Herself in How to Get Away With Murder

Viola Davis Was 'Mortified' When She Saw Herself in How to Get Away With Murder

The actress talks taking getting out of her comfort zone to play Annalise Keating.

Published June 11, 2015

It's hard to imagine that gorgeous, talented Viola Davis has anything to feel insecure about, but the actress says she has to give herself a lot of pep talks while playing Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder.

In a special video series on women in television for the Hollywood Reporter, Davis speaks to fellow actresses Taraji P. Henson, Jessica Lange, Lizzy Caplan and Maggie Gyllenhaal about what it takes to play the lead in the Shonda Rhimes-produced show. From sex scenes to that infamous wig, Davis says she is constantly having to steel her nerves before filming.

| COMMENTARY: WHAT NINE WORDS? VIOLA DAVIS MAKES HISTORY WITHOUT MAKING A SOUND |

"I had never seen a 49-year-old, dark-skinned woman who is not a size two be a sexualized role in TV or film," says Davis. "When I actually saw myself for the first time in the pilot episode, I was mortified," she says, adding that seeing herself in Annalise's wig, false eyelashes and stilettos was an out-of-body experience. "But then...I realized this is my chance to not typecast myself," she says, "and actually play a woman who is sexualized."

Well, we couldn't be happier that Davis didn't shy away from the part. Watch the complete discussion below:

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(Photo: ABC/Mitchell Haaseth)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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