Viola Davis on Significance of Her ‘Sexualized, Not Sexy’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Character

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Viola Davis discussed, in an interview with Tom Hanks as part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” how she executes her “How to Get Away With Murder” role as the imperfect, sexualized Annalise Keating.

“I saw that role as an opportunity for something that was way bigger than doing good work. I saw it as an opportunity for a dark-skinned actress of 50 to be in a role that is sexualized, not sexy — there is a difference between sexualized and sexy,” Davis said to Hanks. “I saw it as an opportunity, a blank palate, or canvas, to put my mark on.”

The interview will air in its entirety on Variety’s “Actors on Actors” Season 5, presented by The Venetian Las Vegas, which debuts on PBS SoCal on Jan. 3.