“How to Get Away with Murder” gets a lot of its shocking moments out of gradually revealing more and more of its characters’ secrets and hidden desires, but Liza Weil’s Bonnie has remained something of a mystery. She’s Annalise’s right hand man, but Annalise(Viola Davis) chooses to leave her in the dark about certain things, and she often serves as a silent witness to the more extreme shenanigans going on around her.
Weil says it’s been a bit of a challenge playing someone who keeps so much of her motivation secret. “It’s hard to play somebody mysterious because they can’t be a mystery to you. You have to kind of make your own choices and hope that it’s interesting.”
The show’s long hiatus between the first batch of nine episodes and the later ones has been a boon for her. “It’s always challenging creating a role and playing somebody new. Until you get a few episodes under your belt, you’re not really sure if what you’re doing is landing,” says Weil. “It was great to be able to watch those nine episodes. I felt like I got a handle on her more by watching them and seeing what the context of the show was.”
While the first set of episodes dealt with the mystery of who killed Annalise’s husband Sam, the latter set deal with the fallout. “The big theme of the next episodes is consequences, and all the relationships are going to be shifting and changing from episode to episode,” says Weil. “Bonnie is going to have to really be stepping up with Annalise. That relationship has shifted so much and so much has happened between them.”
To say the two have a complicated relationship is putting it lightly. “It’s very complicated,” confirms Weil. “I’ve always imagined that Bonnie is somebody who never had a core group of people in her life. I think her family was probably disappointing to her, and I don’t imagine she’s in contact with those people. I think that Annalise, Frank and Sam sort of became her weird screwy family.”
One moment that was perhaps the most surprising was Bonnie’s immediate confession to Annalise that Sam had made a pass at her. The show had been hinting all along that Bonnie was carrying a torch for him, and her turnaround to prove her loyalty to Annalise was startling, to say the least. Weil admits she was a little surprised at the moment with Sam, saying “I was always sort of hoping that the Sam thing was going to be more innocent.” That said, she appreciates that Bonnie appears to have some principles, which is a bit of a rarity on the show.
“I’m glad that she told the truth,” says Weil. “It’s nice to see that her moral compass is intact.”
Though some of the liaisons on the show have been telegraphed from the start, there was one that was fairly surprising: The night of the murder, Bonnie hooked up with Matt McGorry’s uber-bro Asher. “There are certainly going to be consequences for Bonnie sleeping with Asher,” says Weil. Those consequences have already appeared in the first episode back, as Asher immediately told the police he’d been with her the night of the murder.
While the pairing was a bit of a surprise, Weil says she and McGorry were predicting it. “We were all sort of sitting around one night and we were speculating, if the show got picked up, what would the hookups be? And everyone was kind of spoken for, almost, but it also seemed like the most far-fetched thing ever.” But if we know one thing about Shondaland, it’s that very little is off the table, plot-wise.