If Annalise (Viola Davis) and the Keating Five thought they were in the clear with the smartest law students in Philadelphia unknowingly working out their murder defense, Marcia Gay Harden has a big surprise for them.
The Oscar winning actress’ appearance in the “How to Get Away with Murder” winter premiere was a big shock for Annalise and fans of the show. She’s taking on the role of Hannah Keating, sister to Annalise’s husband and recently deceased Sam, and she’s in town to figure out what really happened to her brother.
“[Hannah] is in the process of discovering things. I think the pressure is just someone who is constantly around, is butting into the [Keating Five] circle. She’s almost like a bloodhound. She gets a sense and goes right to it, trying to tear it apart.” Harden explains to Zap2it. “That’s the danger for them. They’re fragile anyway and it looks suspicious. Every time she comes up there, hovering around whispering, and she sees that as something not quite right.”
The pressure will affect the group that is barely holding it together as is. While Annalise’s final exam gives them comfort that they’ll be able to piece together a defense, Hannah arriving will whittle away at the small bit of confidence they’ve garnered in getting away with this crime.
“That’s the name of the show, ‘How to Get Way with Murder.’ Everyone is [thinking] how to get away with murder — until you don’t,” Harden says. “That’s the spark that Hannah is supposed to bring to this equation. If they don’t [get away with it], how does that occur and who facilitates that moment?”
While Hannah’s presence may be unnerving for the students that actually killed Sam, it’s plain uncomfortable for her sister-in law.
“It just comes down to they are very similar and yet diabolically opposed in their behaviors. They both have dysfunctions in their past. They both have pains they’ve had to work through, but Hannah is not about secrets,” Harden says. “She is always seeking the truth and honesty, but Annalise is very complicated. Look at Annalise — she’s a sensuous general.”
Annalise’s key to life so far in Season 1 has always been being a step ahead of everyone else. If Hannah really wants to discover what’s going on she’ll need to get in with someone close to Annalise — and she’ll find an ally in someone who is also looking for answers.
“[Hannah] a psychiatrist. She studies people,” Harden explains. “She sees Bonnie’s Achilles heel. She recognizes Bonnie’s relationship with Sam. [Bonnie] like the window into the group.”
However, Hannah should be careful of how much faith she puts in Bonnie. As Liza Weil, the actress who plays Annalise’s associate, explains during a recent press day — Bonnie’s loyalty to Annalise goes even deeper than Weil thought possible.
Harden warns that there’s big surprises coming for everyone though. Hannah is not only out to find out what happened to Sam, but to prove that he isn’t the person Annalise says he is. Will Hannah’s perspective be able to change what the audience thinks of her brother? Harden says only time will tell, but fans should keep their eyes glued for the end of Thursday’s (Feb. 5) episode.
“The episode ends with this shocking news that changes everything,” Harden teases. Get ready for another big twist “HTGAWM” fans.
Check out a sneak peek of Harden’s appearance below.