Viola Davis says she was inspired to make Annalise Keating pansexual after watching an episode of I Am Jazz.
The How to Get Away With Murder star said recently she was "transformed" after watching Jazz Jennings' journey on her TLC reality series, which led to her pitching to the writers that her character was not straight.
Davis told PrideSource that she admired Jennings in an episode of I Am Jazz, where she and a friend played in the closet.
"They were talking about who they see themselves with in the future," she recalled. "And they were like, 'Whoever, you know. I'm open. I'm open to a boy, I'm open to a girl.' And they started talking about just the attributes of the people they wanted to be with."
She adds, "That transformed me more than anything."
Davis remembered thinking "that is the greatest thing in the world."
"I thought that was a great idea for Annalise because Annalise is so damaged, so traumatized that what if she just said, 'I'm just open to love?' God, think about what we can explore there."
Writers took note of Davis' suggestion and introduced How to Get Away With Murder viewers to Eve (Famke Janssen), a death row attorney, Entertainment Tonight writes. It was later revealed that the lawyer and Annalise had been in a romantic relationship while they were both at Harvard Law.
At the time their same-sex relationship was treated as a non-issue, without the drama series going into identifying Annalise's sexuality or having a coming out story. Davis revealed that she "cannot stand labels."
"I had everything to do with that," Davis said of Annalise's sexual fluidity, also giving kudos to creator Pete Nowalk.
The actress also opened up about how she struggled to reconcile her Christian beliefs and upbringing with accepting the LGBTQ community. She revealed that a friend at her hometown in Rhode Island named slim, who used to wear her dresses, made her rethink how she thought of the group.
"I loved him," she told the outlet. "I felt it was on me to shift my thinking, and it was up to me to understand him."
How to Get Away With Murder is gearing up for its latest shocking reveal, with the next episode finally catching up to the events of Connor and Oliver's wedding, and the latest gruesome murder reveal on the series.
Fans of the series have also wondered if there might be romance in the air for Annalise and Tegan, though so far it is only in their minds.
How to Get Away With Murder will air its fall finale Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.1comments