At this year's TCA, two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis confirmed that taking on the lead role in Shonda Rhimes' How to Get Away With Murder was a response to not being able to find enough challenging roles on the big screen.
“I have gotten so many wonderful film roles. [But] I’ve gotten so many where I haven’t been the show — I’ve been invited to fabulous parties to hold up the wall. I wanted to be the show – to have a character that took me out of my comfort zone, and that happened to be on a Shonda Rhimes show. So I did the only sensible thing and took it.”
Needless to say, Hollywood doesn't offer black actresses very many starring roles, and opportunities for the main spotlight only diminish as they age into their forties and fifties. Thus it's great to see a masterful actress like Davis finally get to show us everything she's capable of.