Given her ascension into Hollywood ubiquity, it was only a matter of time before Viola Davis would land her own starring role on the small screen as well, and what a role it is.
Davis was tapped to headline Shonda Rhimes' suspense drama How to Get Away with Murder, happily accepting the role on one condition: That she be able to shed the wig once again on-screen at some point during the series. She did, in the fourth episode of the inaugural season, when she slowly wiped away a meticulously designed facade of hair and makeup in front of the cameras.
Davis told For Your Consideration audiences in 2015 (via Vulture), 'Before I got the role, I said … 'I'm not gonna do this unless I can take my wig off.'" Davis added that she'd grown weary of the television scene always showing women in a certain, fixed-up light and that she wanted to make sure her portrayal accurately represented a no-makeup reality for women.
"I wanted to see a real woman on TV. I wanted to see who we are before we walk out the door in the morning and put on the mask of acceptability … It felt like who [Annalise] was in private had to be diametrically opposed to who she was in public. And so in order to do that, I felt like I had to physically take the wig off … For me, that simple act really surmounted to something very powerful in the end, because what it was, was someone being very, very private in public, which is absolutely the cornerstone of what we do as artists."