It’s nothing against you, Alfred Enoch. But as your TV love interest, How To Get Away With Murder’s Katie Findlay says getting naked in front of America is “never not weird.” Despite some awkwardness, Findlay and the rest of the Murder cast are handling the show’s risqué scenes like champs, helping Shonda Rhimes create a groundbreaking freshman series.
The spunky, down-to-earth actress gave VH1 a peak at the day in the life of Murder’s Rebecca, and what it’s like not only being a part of Shondaland, but working with such a HOT cast. We’re talking to you, Alfred, Jack Falahee, and Matt McGorry. We may have even asked her to play a little round of Smash, Marry, Kill…
VH1: Congratulations on the show being such a huge success! How are you feeling about it all?
Thank you! I’m great! We sort of just hide away in our little studio and do our jobs and have a nice time together. We sort of forget, I think, that the rest of the world is seeing it, too. Day to day, it’s awfully quiet and then every once a while, we step out and realize how noisy it is out here. It’s a little bit of a moment.
When I interviewed Jack, he said that you guys really don’t know that much of what’s going to be happening in advance.
Yea that’s true.
Is not knowing how everything will unravel for your character difficult?
Sometimes! It really challenges your urge as an actor to always know exactly what’s going on. But when you think about it, people going through their lives aren’t internally prepared for every emotional situation they’re going to be in. I’ve started to just embrace it and play what’s in front of me and try to understand this goal, rather than understand every single second what’s going on, because in real life, she wouldn’t.
Do you feel like you identify with Rebecca?
I do in some ways. Something that was hard for me about playing Rebecca is [that] I see her as someone who has grown up without a support system, and I’m not like that. I have a wonderful family, and I can come crying to my mother and she’ll set me straight no matter what. I look at Rebecca as somebody who’s been disapproved of [for] so much her entire life [that] it started to form the fabric of who she actually is. Everything she does is just to make sure that she survives; it’s not out of selfishness or malice for other people. She just never had a reason to stop looking out for herself, and let someone else do it. It actually took a lot of work and a lot of putting myself in that place to figure that out about her. But I am really sarcastic and I do wear a lot of black…
How do you feel about the show’s sex scenes? Are you comfortable shooting them?
I’m a very awkward person generally, so I will admit to being really uncomfortable and anxious and nervous, and not wanting to do anything wrong or make anything weird. Alfie is a wonderful person. He’s a great guy so… actually if this is going down verbatim, just say that he’s terrible, just terrible! But no, he’s great and we work really well together, and it’s really not horrible when you’re [part of] a cast who understand each other. We all talk and we’re all friends. I mean, it is weird pretending to be naked in front of 20 people, while people instruct you on the proper way to, you know, mack on someone who you [just] had lunch with.
It’s really not romantic at all.
It really feels like work, and it’s actually quite funny a lot of the time, because all it takes is one little thing to shake the moment up and then you start laughing because you realize what you’re doing. You know, someone going, “No, no, don’t touch her that way! Kiss here so that we see more of your face!” And it’s just too funny and truly uncomfortable in my experience. Things get weird. Getting naked in front of what you then later realize is 9.3 million people is never not weird for me, personally.
Are you surprised with how much hype this show is getting in terms of all the sex?
I mean, I’m not really surprised because I know Shondaland. I know [its] shows get a lot of hype and attention and it’s always very community-involved and people like to get into it. People are more remarking on the fact there is gay sex and straight sex on the show that’s given the same amount of time and the same amount of normalcy. It’s just treated like two people wanting each other rather than a big deal, and I think that when you don’t see something very much, it is shocking and noteworthy when it finally comes down the pipes.
Do you feel like it was necessary for this to happen? It must be a cool feeling being a part of this because it’s almost a movement in a way.
It is! I’m happy to be on the show where all different kinds of people are allowed to love all different kinds of people. People are allowed to just look the way that they look — everyone on the show comes from somewhere different, has a different body, wants different things. You know, Viola [Davis] taking off her wig, and her makeup and just being this beautiful woman on screen, unadorned, was really amazing to watch. I think that it’s good to remind people that everyone is here and we’re all here together. If you’re out in the world, you should be able to look at the television and see someone who reminds you of you — someone that you can relate to, a situation you can relate to — and I think the scope of that has gotten smaller. I think that Murder is making a new path.
Speaking of choosing who you would want to love, we’re going to play a little game of Smash, Marry, Kill with: Asher, Wes, and Connor.
Oh God. Everyone on our show is messed up, that’s the problem. I wouldn’t want to marry anybody on our show. Wes is obviously going to be a really good lawyer. I feel like he would build me a house with his own two hands and be really good at taking care of the dogs, so I’d probably marry Wes. I think that Asher would probably break my heart, as with Connor because I’m a very delicate girl. Who knows man, you’re getting me in trouble with everyone now! [Laughs.] It would be funny if I accidentally hooked up with Connor ’cause the dude’s gay. It would be embarrassing and hilarious. And also, I don’t think Asher would go down without a fight. So that would be funny.
Who would you say on set is the biggest charmer on set? Jack said Matt, but I’d like to hear it from a girl’s perspective.
You know, Matt’s a charming guy! I don’t think I could answer that with one person. We’re a really charming cast and they’re all honestly like that! No one’s faking it. So on any given day, I’ll have something happen to me, and I’ll go to someone I work with and go, “Wow, that was really nice, wasn’t it?,” because I’m Canadian, so I’m easily charmed! I actually think Aja [Naomi King] is pretty charming. The guys all smile at you and you melt into a puddle and then you yell at them for having to work! Aja is a lovely, graceful, charming woman, and she’s always happy to see me, and to give me huge hugs. I’m going to say that because I think that women should call other women charming more often.
As a Canadian, how do you feel about U.S. or our perception of Canada?
I love New York, so I’m definitely not an anti-American person. I’m just really Canadian, man! I grew up in Canada; I just like my home. I like the people, I like the environment. Canada’s got some of the best natural wilderness ever. Sometimes I wish Americans knew a little bit more about Canada — we’re a real country and we’re actually bigger than you. We know all about you, and we’re pretty cool! Come hang out! We’re nice people! [But] I miss New York all the time. I’m jealous of Matt and his return trips to the homeland.
Wes is so obsessed with you in the show. In real life, do you find that kind of thing endearing or creepy?
I don’t know if it would be creepy, but I realized that in this modern age of texting, and kind of interpersonal disinterest, that someone showing up just to see you is really nice. Or someone staying up at night, just to talk to you, is really nice. People think they have to play all these games, so I actually think that for somebody especially like Rebecca, the fact that this dude keeps showing up for her despite her being the way that she is — she’s managed to get rid of everyone who ever made her feel too seen, or too vulnerable, or uncomfortable, her entire life. She’s been able to get rid of these people, and this one won’t freaking leave and it’s awful but it’s kinda great. I don’t know if I would find it fully endearing, but [it’s] definitely not creepy.
If there is anything you could avoid for life, say, other than going away for murder forever, what would it be?
Rollercoasters! I get horrible, horrible, motion sickness and I have panic. Everyone goes, “Oh my God, but you’ve never been on one? Oh, let’s go, it’ll be so much fun!” And then you know, they’ll see me get car sick.
When I asked Jack, he said working out.
Well, I almost said that. That’s not true! Jack works out! What a liar!
Your character was a bartender on the show. What would you say your go-to drink is in real life?
I have the system of a chipmunk! I’m really tiny! Everything moves really fast and I’m a lightweight, so if I didn’t drink wine — like a good red wine, or like a nice beer — I would be on my butt, and hating the world in about 10 minutes. Everyone else could have their mixed drinks and I’ll laugh at them. [To me] it smells like poison.
When you’re not on set, what do you guys do?
We’re just like a little family at this point and I know everybody says that but we actually are. We’ll go out and hang out at the bar, or we’ll go to people’s houses and sit around. We just sort of spend time. We don’t go out that much, but like if someone has something going on, we just show up for each other.