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Mastering ‘Murder’

Charlie Weber on the secrets of his new hit show

Each week on How To Get Away With MurderABC’s Thursday night legal-thriller juggernaut, audiences learn a bit more about a heinous crime that’s been committed and a whole lot more about the show’s intriguing, alluring cast of characters.

A standout among these newcomers—all of whom play lawyers or law students working for Viola Davis’ ferocious Annalise Keating—is Charlie Weber, who plays Keating’s mysterious deputy Frank Delfino. Here, Weber dishes on the series, his cagey character and the tricks for telling what exactly is going to come next. 

The show takes place in Philadelphia, but you’re shooting it in L.A. How does all that sunshine affect your ability to play an East Coast lawyer?

We shot the pilot in Philadelphia, but we film the show here in L.A. Philadelphia is a pretty unique place, so I spent a lot of my time there just hanging around, talking to people, going to bars and just getting a beat on the city itself.

And did you have to dive into any legal research to play Frank?

I met with different types of lawyers, including one who does private eye work, which was very intriguing to me as Frank does a lot of work behind the scenes for [his boss]. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in Philadelphia trying to capture that energy that everybody has, that sort of forward moving energy.  That was in addition to some legal research on my own, reading books about different attorneys, different cases and things like that.

Speaking of reading, how much time do you get with a script before you have to film it? Is the cast kept as in the dark as the audience?

No, they keep us guessing. We just finished the ninth episode, so that’s as much as I know, and we’re all waiting in the wings for the 10th. When we get it, that’s when we find everything out too. 

So you must end up surprised each week.

It’s a pretty twisty and turn-y show, so I’m surprised a lot.  The show changes shape on you from week to week, and there will be a pretty big plot twist in almost every episode. 

For viewers, the show is a bit stressful. Does it feel that way on set?

If it’s a really serious scene, we might stay a little quieter than usual, but generally we’re joking in between takes. I think the heavier the show, the more you really want that breath of fresh air to laugh for a minute. We all take our jobs seriously, but we all really enjoy our time with each other; it’s a pretty light set in general.

Over the course of the season, the show’s done a slow reveal for almost every character—we learn more about them each week. How has Frank changed?

No one is what he seems. Frank is presented as one thing, but then all of a sudden he becomes layered. I think that will be sort of surprising—but not necessarily in a good way.

This being a show about the crime, I’m guessing there are clues everywhere. What should we be looking at?

I would tell people to really pay attention. I’ve been getting a lot of tweets recently from people who DVR the show and are watching each episode two or three times, and they’re starting to notice little clues that you may have missed.  If you really pay attention, there are little things here and there that will tip you off as to who may have done what.