‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Star Amirah Vann Says Working with Viola Davis Made Her ‘Level Up’

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

If you’ve been keeping up with How to Get Away with Murder, then you know Annalise Keating and Tegan Price’s friendship has been growing. As it turns out, Viola Davis, who plays Annalise in the hit ABC series, has been a huge source of inspiration IRL for her co-star Amirah Vann, who plays Tegan.

When PureWow chatted with Vann about the sixth and final season of the series, she revealed what it’s really like working with the 54-year-old Oscar winner.

Vann, 41, recalled her first interaction with Davis, saying, “When I came in in season four, she embraced me with open arms.”

She went on to sing her co-star’s praises, saying, “It’s amazing working with Viola. She’s so passionate about her characters and about telling their stories in the most authentic and honest way. That’s the way I was trained, coming up in the theater, so I feel like it’s such a great opportunity to work with someone who solidified everything that I wanted to be as an actress, everything I studied for.”

Over the last several seasons, Vann says Davis has served as a reminder that it’s “not about how we look, it’s not about all these ways that we question ourselves as women. When it comes to these characters, life imitates art and art imitates life and it’s standing in your power. To watch [Viola] as a leading woman on television stand in her power and her beauty and challenge what the image of beauty is” has been an incredible experience.

Vann points out that “not only is [Viola] physically beautiful but her spirit is beautiful,” and she makes a conscious effort to “leave space for other women to be able to be formidable on the show.”

Being around Davis on set has led to a strong bond between the female cast members that inspires Vann to push herself. “To be around those kind of women, we’re supporting each other, we want to see each other win—when they level up, I level up, and we do that for each other. I’m blessed to be on a set right now where as women of color, as black women, we’re supporting each other,” Vann explained.

Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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