With the character Annalise Keating, Viola Davis took special care not to be a woman created by men, as so many of television's heroines seem to be.
"I see these roles often on television where women are really strong, really cold and kind of unlikable, but I never see the nucleus of it," said Davis at a recent Envelope Screening Series presentation of "How to Get Away With Murder."
To her, women are real people, not hypersexual subsets of men dressed in stunning style. Annalise — or Anna Mae, as Davis sees her — is much more human than that. And she is clearly damaged. Davis sees sexual abuse in her history, which manifests itself in the aftermath with her lack of boundaries and not knowing how to be intimate.