How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis on her character's addiction and more

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Sandy Kenyon sits down with Viola Davis about the latest season of "How to Get Away with Murder".

Viola Davis returned to the set of "How To Get Away With Murder" as an Oscar winner for the movie, "Fences." It's a movie she told me celebrates the lives of regular folks like her late father who worked as a janitor at McDonald's. We talked in LA where the star was clearly delighted to be acting opposite her series with her real life husband.

In the first episode of the fourth season, their characters meet on a plane, but in reality, Viola has been married to Julius Tennon for more than 14 years, and they are parents to Genesis, the daughter they adopted as a newborn half a dozen years ago.

Now the two performers are merging their personal and professional lives. The actress told me with a big smile, "I love working with Julius. He makes me happy cause he's always so happy. He just enjoys it. Me? I'm the tortured acting student from Julliard, ya know? Did I get it right? I don't like looking at myself. I didn't like that scene"

The acting school in Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side is famous for it's demanding course of study, but Viola told me her husband is a lot more laid-back when working saying, "He loves wearing those nice clothes. He goes home happy. Me? I just go home whipping myself, 'What are you doing? Why did you do that?' "

I was a little amazed by that, but she told me that she still feels that way even after winning an Emmy for her show and that Oscar for "Fences!"

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Sandy Kenyon talks to actress Viola Davis about her Oscar win and the speech that followed.



Of course, insecurity plus intensity has always been a part of her character: law professor Annalise Keating who teaches her students in "How to Get Away With Murder."

Viola tells me she's known alcoholics within her own family and knows, "that those that bark the loudest are often the most insecure and she certainly barks loud."

So, I asked her point blank: Is Annalise Keating an alcoholic? To which she replied a firm "YES!!!"

Expect the character's alcoholism to be a big factor this season. As the star puts it, "what is happening especially this season is it's playing the root of the addiction, you know? It's playing the person who kinda has the need to numb herself."

Davis admits her show is a "soap opera," but still he insists she wants to stay true to the emotional reality of the lead character -- the reality that makes her do what she does.

"How To Get Away With Murder" airs Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. on Channel 7 and on the ABC app.
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