New York – Luna Lauren Velez has been a huge fan of “How to Get Away with Murder” since its premiere on ABC three seasons ago. She loved the characters, she loved the storylines, and she loved star Viola Davis.
Velez worked with the Oscar-nominated actress in a play at the Roundabout Theatre in New York many years ago called “Intimate Apparel,” during which she fell in love with Davis’ prowess as an actress.
“She was so brilliant, she was just so amazing,” Velez said on Fox News Latino’s VIP Room recently. “I would watch her on stage, and I would go, ‘How can I learn from this incredible craftsperson?' Everything she does, she does with such commitment. It was brilliant to watch.”
The 52-year-old actress said she was over the moon when they offered her the role of Middleton University president Soraya Hargrove, who goes toe-to-toe against Davis’ Annalise Keating.
“I love this character because she’s different than most of the characters that I play, which are sort of overtly aggressive, powerful women,” Velez said. “Soraya is an only child and comes from parents who are middle-class who push her to be her best and drive for excellence.”
“She has this idea of perfection – everything in her life is perfect. Her job is perfect, her children are perfect, and that’s what really motivates her,” she continued. “She has reached the pinnacle of her career, but what we don’t know is all the stuff underneath.”
Velez teases that everything will be unveiled on this week’s episode, which airs Thursday night.
In addition to “How to Get Away with Murder,” Velez is also starring in the new independent film, “Adrift,” which will premiere at the Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival in New York City later this month.
The movie portrays a family living in Long Island, N.Y., who believe they are living the American Dream, until it all spirals downward because of heroin addiction.
“I’m really proud of this project, because it’s not often that you get to do a movie that has this kind of social impact or has a message,” Velez said. “Our country is facing this heroin epidemic – heroin use has tripled since 2007, and it’s been called a public health crisis.”