Posted February 2 2015 — 10:02 AM EST
In the fourth episode of How to Get Away with Murder, Annalise (Viola Davis) takes off her wig and makeup before confronting her husband. It’s a scene that quickly became the show’s stand-out moment, one that showcased Annalise taking off her metaphorical armor—and one that the actress says was her idea.
“I’m claiming it,” Davis said in a new interview with Essence. ”I’m a woman. I like to see women on TV. I like to see real women on TV. That for me is what’s inspiring and that for me is exciting.
When I see an archetype of womanhood on TV, it depresses me.”
Viola Davis went on to say that constantly being fully made-up on the show would make her seem like a Barbie, something that’s “not human.” “Human is, ‘I have to take this hair off at night,’ she said. “African-American women, we wear a lot of wigs. We take our makeup off. We don’t walk great in shoes. We’re not necessarily likeable or always a size two. Some of us have deep voices and then you’re just going to have to deal with it.”