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Going Toe-to-Toe With HTGAWM’s Fearsome Annalise


Marcia Gay Harden on Going Toe-to-Toe With HTGAWM’s Fearsome Annalise: ‘Oh, Hell No — They Don’t Get Along!’

By Michael Slezak

LIZA WEIL, MARCIA GAY HARDENMarcia Gay Harden says she initially viewed How to Get Away With Murder‘s twisted universe like a chess board with rules she hadn’t yet learned.

“I was asking for those long conversations with the writers about [my character’s backstory], and they would say, ‘Well, we’re not sure. Let’s see where it develops,’” says the Oscar-winning actress, whose character Hannah Keating makes her second appearance on Thursday’s episode (10/9c on ABC). “I guess that’s what happens in the show — things really [come to life] in the writers’ room and can change based on what the actors bring to it.”

Harden says with a hearty laugh that beyond knowing Hannah was the sister of Sam Keating — the missing husband of defense attorney Annalise (Viola Davis) and lover/presumed killer of co-ed Lila Stangard — “I wasn’t even sure where I came from, what I was doing there, or how to play at this game of chess that I was a key player in. But it was really interesting to try to figure it out.”

Ultimately, Harden settled on one guiding principle: “Contrast, contrast, contrast — counterpoint and contrast with Annalise. My character is so very different [from her] — and there were going to be secrets my character knew, ones that could help her go in and search for the truth.”

TVLine caught up with Harden to find out just how disruptive her character will be to Annalise and the “Keating 5″ — and whether Hannah might wind up getting swayed by her hard-charging sister-in-law. Plus, check out a sneak-peek video the two powerhouse characters facing off below!

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