“How to Get Away With Murder’s” Season 2 introduced a number of new characters, among them Famke Janssen‘s Eve Rothlow, the mysterious death row attorney and former classmate of Viola Davis‘ Annalise Keating.
A shocking scene in the last Thursday’s season premiere has Annalise and Eva lock lips in a steamy kiss, revealing that the relationship between the two powerful women was more than platonic. They had been involved in a romantic relationship before Annalise was married her late husband Sam. After Annalise framed her lover Nate (Billy Brown) for the murder of her husband Sam, Eve re-enters her life to defend the Nate in the murder case.
“I read [the script], and I just thought, ‘Yes! This is really such a great relationship between these two,’” Janssen told TheWrap in interview. “I think for people who watch the show and have specific expectations for Annalise, I think is just a really interesting coupling of two people to put together.”
Read TheWrap’s complete interview with Janssen:
TheWrap: What was it like coming into such a hit show in the second season?
Janssen: It was really nice, of course, to come on to something that has been so successful. And timing for me personally was incredible, because Viola won [an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series] and our episode aired that same week. It’s really perfect timing.
They’ve been a great group to work with. Viola, I don’t have to tell anyone that’s she’s brilliant. And it’s a really fun character. I love their connection, and I like the stuff that Pete’s coming up with for us. It’s interesting in a really good way.
How did you come to the role? Did you know Pete Nowalk or Shonda Rhimes beforehand?
No, nobody, actually. It just came to me in a way that a lot of things come to me, which seemingly is very mysterious. I’m sure it’s not, but by the time it gets to me, I don’t really know how it came about, generally. Or how it all started. I just got a phone call and the scripts for the first few episodes.
I read it, and I just thought, “Yes! This is really such a great relationship between these two.” I think for people who watch the show and have specific expectations for Annalise, I think is just a really interesting coupling of two people to put together. And the history between the two of them.
Do you know how many episodes you’ll be in?
I’ve filmed three so far, but we don’t know how many we’re going to do total. It really depends on my filming schedule and their shooting schedule. And how they want to wrap up the year. There are a lot of variables, but we all love this relationship and think it’s really great. Hopefully we can figure something out.
How much of the history between Annalise and Eve will be revealed? How will it affect the story going forward?
I think we’ll just have to wait and see. There’s another one airing tonight, and people will probably have less questions after they see that. Or maybe some more. Because it’s left open as to what is going to happen next. And we don’t really know exactly what that is. None of us do.
It might have another element of shock to it. I think it’s beautiful, it’s emotional. And it’s fun. When I read all of it, I thought, “On network television, really? That’s fantastic. I thought cable did these types of things.” I’m really excited about it. I really hope that the audience continues to like Eve and her together with Annalise. Or not together with Annalise.
What has the reaction you’ve received from fans been like?
Really great. So much fun. I live in New York, so I walk down the street a lot and have a lot of contact with people, just being face-to-face with them. So I always get the immediate reaction from them. People are very verbal and open, generally about their feelings. I have to say, it’s been so fun to see. People were kind of shocked and excited. And they loved that Annalise found somebody who was on par with her, and strong like she is. It’s been really fun.
What do you think made the scene click with the audience?
That’s a difficult one. I don’t know exactly how that works in people’s minds. What they’re ready for, what they’re waiting for. Whether it’s the shock element of the two of them having a gay love affair. Or if it’s the interracial aspect of it, or if it’s none of the above. Maybe it’s just that the two characters have a great connection. I don’t know. I’m happy that people are responding to it, for whatever reason they are.
What is it like working with Pete? How collaborative is the relationship?
He’s really open, he’s really great. He obviously has really specific ideas about who Eve is, and what the relationship between Eve and Annalise is. And Viola has a lot of input, and great instinct. Yesterday I had a whole conversation with him about some questions and suggestions for the character. It’s a really good collaboration.