Fans of Shondaland’s newest drama know that every hour of the first season has taken us one step forward and eight steps back. We don’t doubt that tonight’s two-hour season finale will be another cliff-hanger — but Jack Falahee, who plays murderous mentee Connor Walsh, promises at least a few moments of closure. We caught up with Falahee to chat about Connor’s agenda, those intense gay sex scenes, and why he panics every time he opens up a new Murder script.
Every episode of How to Get Away With Murder seems to leave us with more questions than answers. What can we expect to see resolved in the finale?
It’s a two-hour finale, and they really packed a lot in. For one thing, we finally find out who really killed Lila. There’s quite a lot of flashbacks to the night of the murder, which is cool because it’s coming full-circle to where we began. As far as Connor’s journey, I think [one] of the most interesting things we explore in the finale is how Connor and Oliver take their relationship to the next level. And another thing we see this week is how the tension between the Keating four sort of builds and blows up. There’s a lot of bad decision-making in the finale, let’s just say that.
Connor also seems a bit like he’s the loose cannon of the group — but you could almost say that about every character, in a way.
I don’t know if I would call Connor a loose cannon. I think he just had his doubts about how much Annalise would actually take care of the group, and he definitely had his doubts about Rebecca’s involvement. There was definitely a moment — specifically in last week’s episode — where he was getting to a boiling point. But I think after his conversation with Annalise, things have sort of turned. Connor has a bit more hope in the situation and trust in their leader.
Connor has a sharper edge to him, though. He seems like he can turn in a heartbeat.
I think there’s an aspect of that, sure. I think that lives in all of the characters, in some regard. Like when Laurel flat-out says it: If one person goes to rat to the cops, the others will just turn against them. Three against one. So will Connor take that risk? Maybe in different circumstances he might have. But he has a healthy fear deeply ingrained in him that this will be used against him, and that he’ll be the one thrown under the bus.
Connor’s had a lot of intense sex scenes on the show — they’ve been called racy and groundbreaking. Your take?
I guess it depends on your take on what’s racy. To me, it’s just another sex scene. It’s interesting to see how people have been responding to them. Which has been mostly positive, even though this is not something we’re used to seeing so explicitly on network television yet. But it’s part of everyday life, everywhere in the world.
People have asked about your sexuality, too. But you’re not talking.
Yeah, people have been asking me about my sexuality ever since that OUT interview. I’m very confident in my sexuality, and I really don’t like talking about my romantic life in the press. It’s pretty reductive to ask just the actor playing the gay character what his sexuality is if you’re not going to ask that question of people playing straight characters on the show. I really don’t see what my sexuality has to do with the characters, and I think that’s private. But I find it interesting, the fascination with picking apart or outing actors who play homosexual characters on TV or in films. We don’t have that same fascination with actors who are portraying heterosexual characters.
The material on the show is so heavy, and the stakes are so high. What’s the energy like on set?
Oh, we have a lot of fun. We’re absolutely bananas. Pete and Betsey Beers and Shonda, they did a really great job of finding a bunch of young adults that really get along and bring a certain chemistry to the set. My cast mates are all very decent and loving people, which makes for a very positive experience on set, especially when you’re hacking up charred remains and throwing bodies in dumpsters. When we’re exploring these sort of stories, it’s important to have a lot of fun on set. Matt McGorry is hilarious — he’s always cracking jokes. And Elsie is goofy, too.
What’s it like working with Viola?
She’s full of emotion, but she’s also so down-to-earth. But she lets it go when we take a break. She’s got to — she’s got these huge mouthfuls and court scenes and lecture-hall scenes, and when she fumbles up a line, she’s the first to laugh about it, to crack a joke at her own expense.
How much do they reveal to you guys ahead of time? Or are you learning along with us?
We’re learning along the way — or at least I am. We pretty much learn everything at the table reads, which are usually a couple days before we start shooting. And there are always jaw-droppers. We’re experiencing what the audience is experiencing as they watch. But I will say, at every table read, I immediately flip through the scripts and make sure there are no scenes where Connor dies. Hasn’t happened so far. But I’m just waiting for that moment. No, thanks!
Have they told you anything about season two?
They have not. But I have to admit: If they had, I would totally lie to you and say they hadn’t. But with this finale, we’re all in for a wild ride. It’s going to be crazy, and I’m so excited because I’m in New York this week, so I’ll be watching it in real time for the first time, tweeting and answering questions from fans. It’s going to be an insane two hours. It’s going to be bananas!