Actor John Hensley on ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

ATM: What does your character internally and externally like about Bonnie?

John: Miller’s moral compass is very black and white. Miller has a very defined idea of what is right and wrong. He relishes his position in the DA. He is a bit of a crusader. Bonnie in many ways represents to him, one being a very strong woman. Two, there is something in Bonnie’s ability to navigate the grayier areas of life and of the job that is intriguing to Miller. He really appreciates this in her. There is something in him that really recognizes that she has lived quite a life without knowing the details of this life. This is always a phenomenal attractive thing when we cross paths with people who seem to have miles under their belts.

I think all these things make her a phenomenal, intriguing, and compelling person to Miller. This is my take on it. If you were to interview Peter Nowalk or someone else, then they might have a completely different answer. Honestly, there is something to say about there being a spark between them. He got sparked by her. There is just that chemical thing. Maybe it is a little of opposites attract. Miller does not strike me as a dancer. He is a pretty straight-laced kind of dude. Maybe there is something in her that represents a side of life that he does not have access to. This is always intriguing.

ATM: How could a person that is portraying a bad persona link up with someone that is playing a good person to have a good turn out?

John: You are talking about Miller and Annalise. And how they could have an alliance if they are so different. This is a great question. For me, of this very dynamic is about how all this is going to shape out. Annalise is obviously a highly intelligent, complex person. I’m not sure. Miller might have a few tricks up his sleeve. He might be a little like Ned Stark and being able to play the game. Miller is a clever guy, but he is not a manipulative human being. He is kind of what you see is what you get. He is in the DA office. He is not a chump. He is used to swimming in sharky water. Annalise is a shark of a different cut.

ATM: Personally, how do you get by when swimming in sharky water?

John: I try not to. Maybe this is where Miller and I are kind of similar. I am kind of a what you see is what you get kind of guy. I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt, not in a naïve way. I am not into playing games. If the water is feeling a little sharky, then I do my best to get out. Get out and move on. Life is too short to play games like that.

ATM: Do you feel Viola Davis character’s intimidation is a part of the reason she has trouble getting along with people in high positions?

John: People are challenged by Annalise’s sort of good combination of confidence, intelligence, and her fearless nature. This would be a challenge for anybody. We are even seeing this season with Emmett who is also a formidable character, but he has gotten this great acquisition with Annalise. She is no one’s chump. I am assuming Old Emmett is going to have his hands full. Annalise is often in the literal sense the smartest person in the room. This can be highly intimidating for anyone. I believe Miller really respects this about her. He knows she is legit, and this commands his respects. This is my opinion and my take on this.

ATM: Do you feel there is a journalistic component to working as a lawyer?

John: Oh sure. Just to give you a little insight into my life. There are a lot of country attorneys in my family on my mother’s side. I am originally from Kentucky. I have witnessed through them that depending on the nature of the case and the kind of law that you practice that it is vital. Whether it is negotiating a contract in a conference room or arguing a case in litigation, you are fighting for the life of your client. Whether this is their financial life or actual life.

An attorney that is worth their salt is going to research the hell out of not only their client but also their argument. This is a lot of what journalism is. There is no such thing as unbiased journalism. The best thing a journalist can do is research their subject and do their best to present what they feel is the clearest to their audience. This is the same with an attorney, which their audience happens to be a judge and often a jury.