Billy Brown from 'How to Get Away With Murder' dishes about what to expect in season 2

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BY LESLEY HAULER


Billy Brown is used to being in critically-acclaimed shows. His resume reads like a who's-who of Emmy nominees -- from ABC's How to Get Away With Murder to Sons of Anarchy to Dexter.

Despite the cult-like fanbase of the shows, Brown says it's not difficult to keep the spoilers under wraps.

"It's easy for me," says the actor with a laugh. "I'm a Scorpio so I don't let anything out of the vault."

Brown has been playing Detective Nate Lahey in Shonda Rhimes' hit thriller, How to Get Away With Murder for two seasons now and he says the best is yet to come.

The thriller took the world by storm in its first season, even nabbing lead actress Viola Davis a historic win at the Emmy Awards for her role as no-nonsense lawyer Annalise Keating.

The complexities of each character drive the narrative of the show -- each episode expertly balancing subplots that reveal more and more about these shady characters we know and love.

As Nate and Annalise's star-crossed affair keeps us on our toes, we spoke to HTGAWM's Brown about what viewers can expect from the ex-detective in the newest season.

Was it Nate? #WhoKilledSam #TGIT #HTGAWM

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What can fans expect from Lahey and the rest of the cast this season?​

The relationship between Lahey and Annalise -- it gets even deeper than what the audience has been shown and relished up to this point. The involvement with her world starts to suck all of us into a common direction. That's when our motivations become likeminded -- between Annalise and her team, and the second year law students and now former Detective Lahey, who is now a uniformed B-cop.

It kind of fluctuates in a way. I'm not sure if it equates to a supernova or a black hole in some regards -- there's an analogy in there about how the earth and heavens move and expand as our story does. In the first season, everyone seemed to have a very clear path and movement and those began to suddenly shift and change in directions that not only audiences weren't able to predict, but also we, as actors didn't have a clear idea.

If our actors, who are doing this week in and week out, are experiencing that kind of impact [while reading the script at table reads] then that's a great time because you know the audience will enjoy it even more.


What are you most excited for with your character, Nate Lahey?

I'm most excited for Lahey getting through the things that happened to him last season -- the backstabbing, the jail time and his many things that occurred, especially within the ranks of the Philly police force. He's reclaiming and reestablishing himself within the ranks of the force and once again, finding his backbone, finding his spine in the face of the forces he's required to be up against -- or even aligned with.


Where would you like to see your character go in the future? Do you ever make suggestions to the writers?

They always give the actors time before the table read to give suggestions to rework dialogue or bring [the characters] more to life...If I have thoughts and suggestions, they are very open. Some of the time, people email me and I will respond.​

They care about [the script] enough to get it done, even if it is into the wee hours under a full moon, when the rest of the city is asleep, and then we go in the next day and we have great material that really explains the characters and gives them new dimensions. That's why it's fun to get involved with the real work of it. You have to get this stuff and try it out because you know what's on the page.

HTGAWM is such a hyped show --how do they keep these plots under wraps?

It's easy for me. I'm a Scorpio, so I don't let anything out of the vault. When you're on a show, the success in many ways relies on keeping spoilers out of the public sphere or away from an audience. You're even more invested in living up to those demands because it's so clear it is a delicacy of that narrative and, if there is work to be let out because of some casual slip of the tongue, how f**ked everything is afterwards.

So in that regards, it's easy because the stakes are high and you know it going in and all you have to do is show up and keep your mouth shut.


What is your favorite thing about being on set?

The crew is great. They really kick ass. Day in and day out, any one of them are telling me about a certain scene or a certain technical aspects, like the lighting or camera angles, or even the Major League Baseball playoffs.

That's kind of like the flow around set and Viola is right in there -- I mean, even as historic as her career is. Certainly picking up the Emmy as the first Black lead actress, you realize that these are cool people. A lot of times you don't find that.

When actors have great success on Broadway, in feature films, Academy Award nominations ... it's not with anyone that you can find that down-home vibe where you're just hanging out, and with her that [vibe] transcends through our entire crew.

So it works, clearly. It's awesome, but it's also work. You're not just standing around shooting sh*t all the time. So what do you do for the rest of the time [you're not working]? Hopefully, you're around people who are cool, supportive and are great to spend your day with and we are fortunate to have that in our crew and in our cast.​


Catch Billy Brown on How to Get Away With Murder every Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

See more photos of the HTGAWM cast:

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Billy Brown from 'How to Get Away With Murder' dishes about what to expect in season 2
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' stars Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Alfred Enoch as Wes Gibbins, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom, Billy Brown as Nate and Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino. (Photo by Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - The cast and executive producers of ABC's hit series 'How To Get Away With Murder' attended The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' 'For Your Consideration' event at Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, May 28, 2015. (Photo by Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' stars Billy Brown as Nate. (Photo by Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
Viola Davis accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for âHow to Get Away With Murderâat the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 07: Actors Aja Naomi King, Katie Findlay, Matt McGorry, Liza Weil, Charlie Weber, Jack Falahee, and Karla Souza of 'How To Get Away With Murder' accept the Rising Star Award during aTVfest presented by SCAD on February 7, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SCAD)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 07: Actors Aja Naomi King (L) and Jack Falahee (R) speak at SCAD Presents aTVfest - Awards Presentation & ABC's 'How To Get Away With Murder' on February 7, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Catrina Maxwell/Getty Images for SCAD)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'It's All My Fault' - Wes, Connor, Michaela and Laurel may have dug themselves in too deep a hole for Annalise to save them, and the shocking truth about Lila's murder is finally revealed, on the season finale of 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Mitchell Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'She's A Murderer' - A shocking discovery in Sam's case changes everything for Annalise and the students, on 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY FEBRUARY 12 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Mitchell Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - The cast and executive producers of ABC's hit series 'How To Get Away With Murder' attended The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' 'For Your Consideration' event at Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, May 28, 2015. (Photo by Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'The Night Lila Died' - In flashbacks, we start to piece together what really happened the night of Lila's murder. In present day, Annalise takes on a priest who is accused of murdering another priest. Meanwhile, Connor and Oliver take things to a new level in their relationship, and Wes and Rebecca continue to grow suspicious of each other, on part one of the season finale of 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Mitchell Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 15, 2014 photo, showrunner Shonda Rhimes speaks during the "How to Get Away with Murder" panel at the Disney/ABC Television Group 2014 Summer TCA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. ABC's entire Thursday prime-time schedule is composed of shows run by Rhimes. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'He Deserved to Die' - Annalise and the team are focused on Rebecca's case, but when the judge enforces a gag order, Rebecca takes things into her own hands. Meanwhile, Michaela is surprised by a pre-nup, sparks fly between Laurel and Frank, and in flash-forwards, we find out more about Wes and Rebecca's relationship on 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Michael Ansell/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'Freakin' Whack-a-Mole' - A case gets personal for Annalise and the team when their client is a man from the projects who was sentenced to death by Asher's father several years ago. Meanwhile, Wes is still angry at Annalise for hiding information about Lila's case, so Annalise must convince him to get back in line. In flash-forwards, we find out exactly where Asher was on the night of the murder, on 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY OCTOBER 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Mitchell Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'We're Not Friends' - Annalise takes on a tough case defending a minor who fatally shoots his police officer father. Meanwhile, Annalise and Sam continue to argue over his relationship with Lila, and Wes and Rebecca begin to question Annalise's motives. In flash-forwards, we learn more about Laurel's relationship with Frank and why he was calling her the night of Sam's death, on 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY OCTOBER 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Nicole Wilder/ABC via Getty Images)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - 'We're Not Friends' - Annalise takes on a tough case defending a minor who fatally shoots his police officer father. Meanwhile, Annalise and Sam continue to argue over his relationship with Lila, and Wes and Rebecca begin to question Annalise's motives. In flash-forwards, we learn more about Laurel's relationship with Frank and why he was calling her the night of Sam's death, on 'How to Get Away with Murder,' THURSDAY OCTOBER 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Nicole Wilder/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actors Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Katie Findlay, Alfie Enoch, Viola Davis, Liza Weil, Aja Naomi King, Charlie Weber, Jack Falahee and Billy Brown pose for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Liza Weil poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Jack Falahee poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Charlie Weber poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Billy Brown poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Alfie Enoch poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Katie Findlay poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Karla Souza poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Aja Naomi King poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Viola Davis poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
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