The Bar Loves Aja Naomi King (@ajanaomi_king)

Let me start by describing Aja Naomi King in one word: bewitching.

This svelte actress is dark goddess chic, armed with an MFA from Yale and a perpetually flawless outfit.  She's got an ever growing list of TV credits and words cannot express my awe when I first saw her on How to Get Away with Murder.

“I wanna be her,” Michaela Pratt, a young law student, utters in admiration when her professor, Annalise Keating, defends a client on an attempted murder rap — and, in a maneuver of brazen audacity, wins.

But Aja Naomi King, who plays Pratt, might have been talking about Viola Davis, the Oscar-nominated powerhouse breathing life into Keating, one of the season’s most striking protagonists, in ABC’s new “How to Get Away With Murder.”

Ms. King had an M.F.A. from Yale and recurring roles on CW’s “Emily Owens, M.D.” and ABC’s “Black Box” on her résumé when she landed the role of Pratt after a Skype audition in which everything — the Internet connection, the sound — went wrong.

Yet, she’d scarcely left the room when she was offered the part.

“Words can’t describe how one would feel in that moment after doing a test for something you really want but in your heart you don’t think you have a chance of getting,” she said. “I wanted to cuss, but I was still inside this building.”

And when she found out that Ms. Davis had been cast as the lead?

“I believe I said I would just die,” Ms. King, 29, told Kathryn Shattuck in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, not far from where she grew up. Getting the chance to work with Ms. Davis, the show’s creator Peter Nowalk, and Shonda Rhimes, one of the executive producers, “it’s like: ‘I’m done. That’s all I’ll ever need.’”


  1. I find it ironic how Aja's character mentions how she want to be Annalise. It really wouldn't have took acting to say that. I know that if I was acting with Viola, I would feel very honored to be in her presence.

    I'm learning more about Aja when you first mentioned a year or two about her. Now that I get to see more of her, I see why you also praise her. She and Viola deserve to be where they are. I'm hoping that this show will lead them to more things.

    I'm happy for the both of them. Most Black women, especially in Hollywood get shafted. I was just reading about how Viola had played mammy or other stereotypical roles before she was cast in a non mammy role. I look at the Oscar award that Lupita Nyongo got for 12 Days A Slave". She's is soo pretty, educated and cordial. All of that should have led to more roles for her. Instead, she will be staring in a remake of Star Wars and she had stint on Sesame Street which is ok,but lets get real here: if that was Jennifer Lawrence with her same background she would have been offered role after role and she is without Lupita's clout. It's stuff like this is what Viola is talking about.

    Just what would have happened if Shonda wouldn't have touched Peter's HTGAWM? One thing for sure, Viola still would have been cast in mammy roles and Aja probably would still been looking for that perfect role probably for Viola said she had to do before she got the role of Annalise . It's not right,but Hollywood isn't for Black actors/actresses.

    1. Aja is highly adaptive. No matter what role she gets, she throws herself fully in and its amazing.


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