Viola Davis Doesn’t Care If You Don’t Think She’s Likable On-screen

Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX Shutterstock.
Viola Davis took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series at Saturday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards. Deservedly so — she's a powerhouse, both on-screen and off. But while accepting her award, she called out a specific thing that people say to her about Annalise Keating, her character on How to Get Away with Murder. "There's a famous saying," she began, "that I am not who you think I am. You are who you think I am...People are always saying, 'Annalise is an antihero. Don't you worry she's not likable?'" Turns out, the answer to that is no, Davis absolutely does not. Furthermore, she wonders why her character has to be measured on a spectrum of likability in the first place. "Why do I have to be a hero?" she wonders. "Why do I have to be a mentor? My job as an actor is just to create a human being." "It is my job," she went on, "and I do it to the best of my ability." That she does — but tonight, Davis used her moment in the SAG spotlight to make an important point. People often look at strong female characters and expect them to be aspirational. Perhaps it's time we finally put that assumption to bed.

More from TV

R29 Original Series