On Set With TV's Sexiest Show, 'How To Get Away To With Murder'

by Leanne Aguilera 5:38 PM PDT, October 30, 2014
Playing On Set With TV's Sexiest Show, 'How To Get Away To With Murder'

It's the show that everyone can't stop talking about, and only ET was on set to get you the inside scoop.

ABC's newest smash series How to Get Away with Murder has been making headlines left and right with their ultra-steamy scenes, heart pounding drama and phenomenal cast. Plus, did we mention that the freshman drama's leading lady Viola Davis absolutely slays each and every scene she's in? Long story, short: If you're not tuning in to Shonda Rhimes' newest production, you're missing out on some spectacularly compelling TV.

ET's Kevin Frazier traveled deep into the heart of Shondaland for an exclusive interview with Davis about her dynamic onscreen alter ego and how staying true to herself has proved to be the best advice a girl could ever hear.

WATCH: A Timeline of Sex on Shonda Rhimes' Shows

Although fans have described Davis' character as strong, powerful, sexy — and even a little mean — the Oscar-nominated actress says it has been "wonderful" to embody such an authoritative and strong woman in today's TV. "It has been the greatest challenge of my life, to humanize her," David explained. "It's just been great."

One of the most intriguing aspects of Davis' law professor character, Annalise Keating, is her ability to take charge in each and every room she's in. Whether that's the courtroom, the classroom, or the bedroom — she rules them all. "It's great to be a part of this imagination playground," she shared with ET. "That's where you want to be as an actor."

Davis also revealed that one of the biggest surprises she has experienced on HTGAWM is how much she's "enjoying" Annalise's sexy flirtations and steamy scenes. "I don't tell my husband that, because I love him so much, but I'm enjoying surprising people," Davis admitted. "I know they're looking at it like, 'Is that Aibileen Clark from The Help?' But that's exciting to me… It shows my range."

And there's plenty of sexy range to show off. "Thank God for body makeup," Davis said, laughing. 

WATCH: Where You've Seen the Young Stars of 'How to Get Away with Murder' Before

Life hasn't always been easy for the 49-year-old actress. Davis recently opened up at Variety's Power of Women event about her bleak beginnings and hungry childhood growing up in Rhode Island. "I did everything to get food," she said. "I have stolen for food. I have jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food... I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame."

Davis told ET that after living through that hardship, there is one thing that she wishes she could tell a young Viola: Be yourself. "The biggest thing I would tell her is that she's perfect, just the way she is," she said. "I always tried to be someone else. I tried to be Sofia Lauren. I tried to be Cindy from The Brady Bunch. I tried to be everything I felt was accepted — and [now] I think I was perfect just the way I was."

So when one reviewer wrote that, as a leading woman, Davis could be considered "less classically beautiful," the actress was able to power through the criticism. "I have to say that it didn't totally throw me. You hear it when you're a dark-skinned woman. I've heard it my entire life."

When other women flocked to social media to post their support and self-portraits using the hashtag #LessClassicallyBeautiful, Davis said, "It made me cry. I look at it every time I need inspiration."

For a deeper peek into tonight's all-new scandalous episode of How to Get Away with Murder, take a look at our video above.

How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.