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Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis & Emmy Contenders Talk Race, Sexism, Aging in Hollywood

Six Emmy contenders Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Lizzy Caplan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Lange, and Ruth Wilson take the cover of The Hollywood Reporter‘s latest issue, hitting stands this week. They speak candidly during a roundtable about race, sexism, aging, nudity and typecasting.

Viola on what most appealed to her and scared her about playing the lead in a Shonda Rhimes drama (How To Get Away With Murder): There was absolutely no precedent for it. I had never seen a 49-year-old, dark-skinned woman who is not a size 2 be a sexualized role in TV or film. I’m a sexual woman, but nothing in my career has ever identified me as a sexualized woman. I was the prototype of the “mommified” role. Then all of a sudden, this part came, and fear would be an understatement. When I saw myself for the first time in the pilot episode, I was mortified. I saw the fake eyelashes and, “Are you kidding me? Who is going to believe this?” And then I thought: “OK, this is your moment to not typecast yourself, to play a woman who is sexualized and do your investigative work to find out who this woman is and put a real woman on TV who’s smack-dab in the midst of this pop fiction.

Maggie on a specific point in her career when she felt the bravest: I had a rape scene in The Honorable Woman where it was clearly written that she’d be saying, “No, no, please, no,” right away. But I wanted her to be complicit and wanting it; the darkest, most painful sex, right up until the point it turned into rape. I wanted her to want something she knew she shouldn’t want. I can sometimes tell when actors fought an ordinary approach to a scene, and I’m so glad they did because it tells a better story.

Lizzy on if it’s tough to do a lot of nudity on Masters of Sex: I was more afraid of doing nudity on [HBO’s] True Blood. It got easier after that, but I’m not ever 100 percent comfortable. There was a scene last season where I take my robe off, I’m naked and then transition into locked-eye [with Michael Sheen’s character], full-on masturbation from beginning to end. We have a female showrunner who considers herself a prude, so the sex scenes always move the story forward. But I remember being in my trailer before that scene and thinking for the first time since the show started: “I really don’t want to go out there and do this.”

Watch the video of the roundtable at HollywoodReporter.com. Pics below!

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Viola Davis Avoids The 'Sexy' Label With 'How To Get Away With Murder' Character Annalise Keating

Viola Davis brings a pop of color with her bright dress to the How To Get Away With Murder ATAS event held at Sunset Gower Studios on Thursday evening (May 28) in Hollywood.

The 49-year-old actress was joined by her co-stars Alfred Enoch, Marcia Gay Harden, Tom Verica, Billy Brown, Charlie Weber, and Karla Souza, along with director Debbie Allen, and executive producers Bill D’Elia, Peter Nowalk and Betsy Beers.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Viola Davis

“I chose to remove the word ‘sexy’ from my vocabulary and I replace it with ‘sexual,’” Viola explained during the event about not labeling her character Annalise as sexy.

She added, “I try to be very aware as an actor, when I am doing sexual scenes, to not to be so self-conscious about making it look good because, for everyone that’s had sex, it’s not cute. But how do you play not cute sex on network TV? It’s very uncomfortable.”

FYI: Karla is wearing a kate spade new york romper.

50+ pictures inside of the How To Get Away With Murder cast… More Here! »

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Viola Davis Teases Season Two of 'How To Get Away With Murder' with Cicely Tyson!

Viola Davis is all smiles as she attends her L.A. Times Envelope Screening for her hit show How To Get Away With Murder held at ArcLight Sherman Oaks on Tuesday (May 26) in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

The 49-year-old actress was joined by creator/executive producer Peter Nowalk, as well as her co-star Cicely Tyson, who is set to have a guest role in season two of the show.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Viola Davis

Season two of How To Get Away With Murder is set to return with the same 15-episode order as the first season this Fall – We can’t wait!!

10+ pictures inside of Viola Davis and others at the special screening… More Here! »

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Kerry Washington Has Tons of Love For Viola Davis at Disney International Upfronts

Kerry Washington shows off her legs while hitting the Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts at Walt Disney Studios on Sunday (May 17) in Burbank, Calif.

The 38-year-old actress was joined by Viola Davis, Priyanka Chopra, John Stamos, and Guillermo Diaz.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Kerry Washington

Alison Pill, Erika Christensen, Hayley Atwell, Mirelle Enos, and Don Johnson were also spotted walking the purple carpet at the event.

“Some #TGIT gals. #InternationalUpfronts So much love,” Kerry wrote on Instagram with a pic of herself with Shonda Rhimes and Viola.

FYI: Priyanka is wearing a Monique Lhuillier dress, Christian Louboutin shoes, Edie Parker clutch, Jacob & Co. ring, and Alex Mika earrings. Kerry is wearing an Alexander Lewis dress, Le Silla shoes and EFFY Jewelry earrings. Viola is wearing a Carmen Marc Valvo dress. Erika is wearing a Boohoo clutch.

35+ pictures inside of Kerry Washington and Viola Davis at the Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts… More Here! »

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Ben Affleck Spotted on 'Suicide Squad' Set in Toronto!

Ben Affleck steps out on the set of the upcoming movie Suicide Squad on Monday (April 27) in Toronto, Canada.

The 42-year-old actor was spotted suiting up while filming a scene at Hy’s Steakhouse. It seems like his character Bruce Wayne/Batman might be making an appearance in the movie revolving around DC Comics’ villains.

Also spotted on set that day were Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis.

Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters next summer, just a few months after Ben‘s movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice debuts.

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Viola Davis Will Develop & Star in Harriet Tubman Movie

It has just been announced that Viola Davis is attached to star in an upcoming HBO movie about Harriet Tubman!

The 49-year-old actress would take on the role of the activist “who helped devise a system that allowed hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad.”

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Viola Davis

Viola is developing the project, which is based off Kate Clifford Larson‘s biography Bound for the Promise Land, with Amblin TV and writer Kirk Ellis.

The movie could start filming during Viola‘s hiatus from shooting her hit show How to Get Away with Murder next year. Stay tuned for more details!

ARE YOU EXCITED to see Viola Davis play Harriet Tubman?

'Suicide Squad' Cast Takes Group Photo at the Table Read!

This is one epic photo – the cast of Suicide Squad took a photo together today at the table read for the movie, which is set to begin filming in Toronto, Canada!

Notably missing from the picture is Jared Leto. Fans immediately questioned if it was Jared who took the photo of the cast!

Director David Ayer tweeted out the photo with the caption, “Cast read through today! #SuicideSquad.”

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis and more are featured in the movie.

The photo also revealed three actors we didn’t know were originally in the film: Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, and Jim Parrack. It’s not yet known what roles they will play.

The film hits theaters on August 5, 2016! Bigger photo inside… More Here! »

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