It’s no secret how much we love ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, and one of those reasons is Aja Naomi King, aka Type A student Michaela Pratt who – well – got away with murder. In light of the show returning Thursday on ABC, we could think of no better time to chat with King on everything from her morning routine and advice from Shonda Rhimes, all the way to how to rock a red bathrobe like Viola Davis does…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
My ideal food day would be a breakfast of two poached eggs, mesclun salad, and toast – and add a Bellini. For lunch, a turkey club sandwich with turkey bacon, fries, and a glass of rosé. For dinner, my father’s spaghetti and turkey meatballs with my mother’s homemade biscuits and an Old Fashioned.
How do you always start your day?
I am not a morning person, so when I’m filming and have to be up early I wake up at the last possible second, get ready, make a cup of coffee and go. On days when I do have time, I like to leisurely get up and use my French Press to make coffee, sit outside on my balcony and catch up with friends on the phone.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
Water, water and more water – as well as a positive outlook. I do my best to work out a little bit everyday, which includes a yoga or cycling class if I have time. I also have my own bike at home, which helps. Keeping my face clean is also essential; we put on a lot of makeup throughout the day, so I spend a lot of time thoroughly washing my face to get it all off and maintain my skin health.
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
My morning and nightly beauty routines consist of washing my face thoroughly, spritzing my face with some Rose Water and then applying the night cream given to me by my dermatologist.
What’s been your best moment shooting How To Get Away With Murder so far?
There have been so many great moments from last year to now that it is hard to choose. I’ll never forget the first time I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this show is going to be really amazing.’ It was during the pilot, shooting the big scene in the forest where we decide what to do with a dead body. It was freezing cold that night and we were all so excited to be shooting overnight in the woods. I love that scene.
Any great advice from Shonda Rhimes you can share with us?
When we first started filming she said that the people we were working with were going to be our family (and that’s exactly what we are), and it was really important that we treat each other as such – with respect, kindness and love. We spend almost every waking moment together so it’s important to treat each other like family.
What’s it like working with Viola Davis? What makes her so awesome?
Well, working with her is just that – super awesome! For me, the thing that makes her so amazing and fun to work with is her sense of humor. Not only is she exceptionally talented, she is fun to be around. It’s great to be on set with someone who you not only admire but whose company you genuinely enjoy.
Any tips on rocking a bathrobe the same way Viola Davis does?
Imbue your own sense of confidence and you can rock anything!
Do you hope to be luckier in love going forward?
I really hope my character Michaela will be lucky in love going forward. This season it has become increasingly harder for her to trust her instincts when it comes to the opposite sex, so I want her to be lucky in love without having to put so much effort into it.
What’s always in your bag on set?
My bag on set always has mints, a phone charger and headphones.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?
The best advice I have ever received is that everyone in the world will want to tell you no, to disregard and diminish your power, so you have to tell yourself yes!
The worst was to have a back-up plan. I don’t believe in back-up plans, I only believe in doing whatever it takes to make your plan happen.
Do you all try to get Alfred Enoch on Twitter or have you given up?
I really like that Alfie isn’t on Twitter because then I can post whatever I want and he will never know about it.
There’s a lot of coffee on that show, how do you personally like your coffee?
I like my coffee sweet; I have a major sweet tooth. I typically enjoy getting a regular coffee and loading it up with cream and sugar – but I never finish a full cup. I’m really good at leaving half cups of coffee around everywhere.
How do you get away with murder personally?
So, I have never tried to kill anyone, but I did try to get away with taking a pack of gum from a grocery store once. I was maybe four or five and took some gum from the check out. When I got home, I wanted to share it with my father. I offered him some and he asked me where I got it from. When I told him I took it from the grocery store, he put me in the car and drove me back to the store, got the store manager, and made me apologize and return the gum. And I never stole again.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I love going into a new city and trying new things. There are things that I typically don’t eat that I’m always willing to try when in a brand new city. I had never had pork until I lived in New York and I would only eat it at ramen places. When I lived in Vancouver they had some of the most amazing sushi I have ever tasted – and great tequila bars. Greece had the tastiest vegetables and seafood; I never knew a salad could have so much flavor until I had one at a small cafe near the water on Santorini Island. Here in Los Angeles, I have access to all different kinds of foods. It’s really great to go check out new places – and there is always a new restaurant to check out.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?
Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand, Joan Rivers, and my Nana. I would make a delicious brunch with mimosas and Bellinis, scrambled and poached eggs, cornmeal muffins, Challah bread French toast, and a yummy salad with cranberries and strawberries.
*Aja Naomi King, photographed at Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann