06/25/2015 05:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Viola Davis On Why It's Important For Women On-Screen To Keep It Real

Viola Davis wowed TV viewers last year when she stripped off her wig and makeup during a powerful scene on Shonda Rhimes’ hit ABC series “How To Get Away With Murder.”

This month, Davis graces the cover of The Wrap Magazine in a stunning photograph alongside the headline "How To Get Away With Everything." In the cover story, the actress opened up about the now-iconic scene and shared her thoughts on why it was important for viewers to see her character, criminal defense attorney Annalise Keating, in her natural state.

“It’s not always about being pretty. But it is about uncovering and feeling comfortable with the way we are and the way we look when we’re in private,” Davis said in the candid interview. “You know, as soon as you walk through the door, what do you do? You take off your bra, you let your titties sag, you let your hair come off -- I mean my hair.”

The 49-year-old actress spoke to the significance of the scene, which allowed audiences to see a powerful woman in a vulnerable moment. “I wanted that scene to be somewhere in the narrative of Annalise,” she told The Wrap's Joseph Kapsch. “That who she is in her public life and who she was in her private life were absolutely, completely diametrically opposed to one another. Because that’s who we are as people. We wear the mask that grins and lies.”

Davis also discussed her approach to the scene, adding that she wanted to present Annalise in a way that departed from more common depictions of what is "sexy."

"I didn’t want to be the Vogue woman. I didn’t want to be the woman who came in with the sexualized -- I say sexualized, not sexy, because sexy is a certain self-consciousness to sexuality -- I say that Annalise is sexual," she said. Instead, Davis said she wanted to do away with the "blow-dried hair and that dewy skin and, you know, those Double-Zero clothes."

"I did not want to be that woman because I don’t know that woman," she said. "And I’ve been watching that woman in movies for several years. And I felt like this was my chance to woman up."

Read more of Viola Davis’ The Wrap interview here.



Viola Davis' Style Evolution