EXCLUSIVE: 'HTGAWM' Star Billy Brown on Why Fans Shouldn't Give Up on Det. Nate Lahey Just Yet

Photo by Abc.com
Brown tells ESSENCE that his character, Detective Nate Lahey, might have a few more tricks up his sleeve.

The thrill is gone between Annalise and Nate on How To Get Away with Murder

Le sigh. That’s what happens when you frame your lover for your husband’s homicide to protect your students. 

But Billy Brown, who plays Det. Nate Lahey, says viewers shouldn’t give up on the guy just yet. He’s a smart cookie with a few tricks of his own. 

“Nate’s a detective. He’s a street guy. A Philly guy,” said Brown, who has worked on a number of TV series including Dexter, The Following and Sons of Anarchy. “He believes there are beautiful and wonderful things in Annalise’s heart but he knows she’s masking a lot. He knows by virtue of what she does, it’s her skillset.

“He knows every time they met – in the car, cover of darkness, eye to eye, making out – every action was no accident. There are no accidents,” Brown said. “Nate really likes Annalise but it’s hard when that relationship you know is not healthy. It’s hard to extract yourself from it. And as a detective, Nate’s trying to get at some truth that he knows she has. And to walk away, he’d be denying himself an opportunity to do what he does best.” 

Making matters more complicated, Nate’s wife is dying of cancer. If Nate goes away to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s not the only one who will suffer. What is more surprising is the fact that Annalise didn’t try to frame Nate’s wife. Hmm. Maybe she will still.

As for the success of HTGAWM, Brown said once Viola Davis agreed to star on the show, he knew things were going to be just fine. 

“I am really happy we were able to have Viola Davis commit to this,” Brown said. “Paul Lee, one of the heads of the network, listened to her when she said, ‘I can’t do 22. Maybe 15 episodes?’ Which means week in and week out, the writers in that room are giving their best every week. This show easily could be on FX. So to do it on ABC is huge. And to be a part of it? I love it.”  

Oh, and here’s a fun fact. While we were all going gaga over Mr. Brown’s beautiful back and arm muscles in his hot and steamy love scene with Davis – you know the one – he didn’t watch. The man says he can’t watch himself on TV. 

“You see yourself in the mirror everyday and it’s not even all that,” Brown said modestly. “To tune in on a Thursday night in high definition? I watch the rest of the cast but the scenes with me, I can’t do it.”

Ahh. Who doesn’t love a humble man?

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