“I wanted to be the show. I wanted to have a character that kind of took me out of my comfort zone. And that character happened to be in a Shonda Rhimes show in How to Get Away With Murder. And so, I did the only smart thing that any sensible actress would do, and I took it. I dove at it. And I love the fact that she’s messy and mysterious and you don’t know who she is. She’s not necessarily nurturing and, ‘Come sit on my lap so I can talk to you, baby.’ She’s not the kind of person that—doesn’t need God, Jesus, or Buddha, because she knows all the answers. She’s messy. She’s a woman. She’s sexual. She’s vulnerable. And I think—I feel extremely fortunate that I am alive and still active and this role came to me at this point in my life,” Davis concluded.
With Annalise Keating, Davis explored previously frowned upon television taboos. That started early in the first season when she wiped off her makeup, took off her wig and confronted her husband about his penis being on a dead girl’s phone. Find another broadcast TV show with a 50-something black female lead. Find another broadcast TV show where the main character is a pansexual survivor of abuse. There isn’t. And that’s what will be HTGAWM’s legacy.