Viola Davis Is Amanda Waller In ‘Suicide Squad’ & Her Role As Annalise Keating Prepared Her For This
The moment you have all been waiting for is finally here. Well, depending on what fandom you're in. If you've been keeping on top of your Suicide Squad news, then you've probably already heard whispers of this, but, for those new to the whole idea of this film, Viola Davis will be playing Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad. Now, I was already excited about the film for the sheer fact that it marks the big screen debut of my beloved darling of crime, Harley Quinn, but Davis’ addition to the cast is like a dream come true. This will be her first superhero film, a genre that is increasing the star power of many established film and television stars, and, furthermore, she has already more than proven that she is exactly the right woman for the job. How? By playing Annalise Keating on How To Get Away With Murder.
For those who aren't in the comic book know, Amanda Waller is an antiheroic U.S. government agent whose clandestine operations include the titular Suicide Squad. She is noted as one of the most ruthless women in the world of espionage, which is probably why it's so easy for her to manipulate and babysit a group of the world's most terrifying criminals. For those who aren't in the Shondaland know, Annalise Keating is an antiheroic defense attorney whose clandestine operations include covering up the murder of her own husband that was committed by the Keating Five, a group of her law school students.
Essentially, Amanda Waller is what would happen if Annalise Keating decided to get a job as a government agent in a superhero movie. But don't take my word for it. Check out all the ways Davis' work on HTGAWM prepared her for her role in the Suicide Squad below.
1. She has an antagonist relationship with a great detective
All right, so, unlike Nate Lahey and Annalise, Amanda and Batman are not sleeping together and were never secretly lovers. However, the conflict in Nate and Annalise's relationship always crops up whenever their two opposing methods of dealing with crime don't match up. Annalise is willing to resort to underhanded and illegal methods in order to win her case, and is even willing to sell out Nate twice to do so, while Nate maintains the moral high ground in his investigations. Much like Amanda and Batman's antagonistic working relationship.
2. She is the leader of a small group of criminals
Annalise's students committed a single murder that at least two of them are completely falling apart over. The members of Amanda's Suicide Squad have committed so many various crimes, included repeated homicides, that they don't even need repeating. Despite that, both Annalise and Amanda have managed to command the respect of their teams and are fond of them in their own way.
3. Everyone is afraid of her
Do I even need to explain this one? Annalise Keating is Annalise Keating, and Amanda Waller is Amanda Waller. Their very names inspire terror.
4. She has unsavory business practices
Annalise has never cared whether her clients were guilty or innocent when they came to her for legal aid, and that lack of morals is going to come in very handy when Amanda is going behind the government's back to get a job done whether they like how she does it or not.
5. Even her own team hates her sometimes
It took literal years for Amanda to gain a relationship of mutual respect or fondness with the Suicide Squad. And, much like her, Annalise is still fighting to get the Keating Five to see her as more of a maternal figure with their best interests at heart than as a scary overlord who will screw them over at the earliest opportunity. For both women, it's an uphill battle.
6. She calls out racism
Annalise deserves her own emoji praise hands for the racism and classism and sexism and every-ism that she calls out week after week. The comics had a subplot in which Amanda Waller tried to name African-American Bronze Tiger as the leader of the Suicide Squad and was overruled to place Caucasian Rick Flag Jr. in charge instead. She was furious and resentful of the inherent racism of that, even if Bronze Tiger himself thought other factors were at play. Social justice is just something both Amanda and Annalise are good at.
7. She's a total badass
I don't even think I need to explain this one. If anyone can carry a superhero movie, and lead a team of supervillains, then it's definitely Davis. And the skills she learned on How To Get Away With Murder will serve her well as Amanda Waller.