Cicely Tyson’s role has finally been revealed on “How to Get Away with Murder.” She’ll be making a trip to Philadelphia as Annalise Keating’s (Viola Davis) mom.
That’s right. Even Annalise makes a call to mom when she’s in the middle of a crisis — and framing your boyfriend for your husband’s murder definitely counts as a crisis. Better yet, Davis reveals to Zap2it during a recent “HTGAWM” set visit that bringing in the legendary actress was entirely her idea.
“Episode 13 is my idea. I’m claiming it. Bringing Miss Cicely Tyson on board was my idea,” Davis says proudly. “Sorry, Pete [Nowalk, the show’s creator]. I love you, but it was my idea.”
Bringing Tyson on board and the concept of the episode was born out of Davis’ desire to see more authentic womanhood on TV. She’s already broken barriers by filming scenes without any makeup or wigs to make her more “classically” beautiful, and pitching the idea of episode 13, titled “Mama’s Here Now,” was a way to continue that.
“I’m a woman. I like to see women on TV. I like to see real women on TV. That, for me, is what is inspiring. That for me is exciting,” Davis says. “When I see the archetype of womanhood on TV it depresses me. That’s the thing that makes me want to go home and eat and binge and eat a lot of bread.”
That stripped-down look is coming back, according to the episode 13 promo that announces “Let the countdown to crazy begin.” It seems that Tyson will be playing a mother figure with a personality type much like her daughter’s. She’s not pulling any punches as she asks Annalise in the promo, “So did you do it — kill Sam?” There are not a lot of mothers out there who could ask their children if they’ve committed murder without batting an eyelash. Get your first peek at Tyson in her “How to Get Away with Murder” episode below.