'How to Get Away With Murder': Before They Were Stars
Viola Davis: Annalise Keating
Before: The Tony Award-winning, Oscar-nominated actress behind Annalise Keating once starred alongside Blair Underwood and Maya Rudolph on the short-lived medical drama City of Angels as Nurse Lynette Peeler (above), before being cast in a slew of Steven Soderbergh films, including Traffic, Out of Sight, and Syriana. She rose to fame after acting opposite Meryl Streep in Doubt, for which she nabbed her first Academy Award nomination. (She would be nominated again 2011 for her work in The Help, this time losing to Meryl Streep.)
Now: Beyond her Emmy-winning work on How to Get Away With Murder, Davis most recently appeared in the Michael Mann-directed cyber-thriller Blackhat, and is set to play the ruthless government agent Amanda Waller in 2016's Suicide Squad.
Alfred Enoch: Wes Gibbins
Before: Enoch had been best known as the child actor portraying Hogwarts student and Harry's fellow Gryffindor, Dean Thomas, in the Harry Potter films (above). Following his performances in the magical franchise, Enoch continued acting by doing plays, including Coriolanus and Antigone in London.
Now: As Wes Gibbins, How to Get Away With Murder's resident "Puppy" (and "Waitlist"), Enoch leads the five students chosen to work in Annalise Keating's law practice.
Jack Falahee: Connor Walsh
Before: Since 2012, Falahee has been showing up on the small screen, guest-starring on shows like The Carrie Diaries. The actor landed the role of Charlie McBride on ABC Family's Twisted in 2014 (above), before appearing the movie Rage opposite Nicolas Cage.
Now: Falahee's turn as Connor Walsh, one of Annalise Keating's law students who uses both his smarts and sex appeal to get ahead, has catapulted him into TV fame.
Aja Naomi King: Michaela Pratt
Before: King has been acting on television since her first guest appearance on Blue Bloods in 2010, later winning roles on the medical comedy Emily Owens M.D. (above) and medical drama Black Box, though both series were canceled after one season. The actress has also appeared in several indie films, including Damsels in Distress opposite Greta Gerwig in 2011, as well as 2014's The Rewrite, with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei.
Now: The actress is just as busy as her breakout How to Get Away With Murder character, Michaela Pratt: King has two films lined up, including the historical period drama The Birth of a Nation, slated for a 2016 release, alongside Armie Hammer and Gabrielle Union.
Matt McGorry: Asher Millstone
Before: McGorry got his start in short films and guest-starring roles on TV (including an uncredited stint playing Spider-Man on One Life to Live, above), stretching his acting muscles long before he entered Shondaland. Speaking of stretching muscles, the actor also used to be a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder, getting ranked in the top 50 nationally in three weight classes.
Now: The actor pulls double duty by starring on both Orange Is the New Black (as the lovable corrections officer John Bennett) and How to Get Away With Murder (as the lovable if cocky Asher Millstone). Off-screen, he's known for being active online, posting vocal tweets and Instagrams about social issues.
Karla Souza: Laurel Castillo
Before: The Mexico City native and trilingual actress (she speaks Spanish, English, and French) studied acting abroad, going from France to Russia to England before launching her TV career in Mexican dramas, including an appearance in the telenovela Verano de amor (above) and a lead role in the controversial Niño Santo, about a cult in a remote village.
Now: Souza plays "wallflower" Laurel Castillo on How to Get Away With Murder, though the actress is anything but with her film career: She's landed a role in the upcoming romantic comedy Sundown, as well as one in the crime drama The Jesuit, opposite Ron Perlman.
Charlie Weber: Frank Delfino
Before: He first captivated TV audiences when he recurred as Ben, the medical-intern-slash-human-vessel-for-a-hell-goddess (just go with it), during the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (above). The actor has also appeared in everything from The Drew Carey Show to Everwood to 90210, as well as landed film roles including a part in Vampires Suck, which, funnily enough, parodied Buffy.
Now: Weber went from bloodthirsty vampires to bloodthirsty lawyers, portraying Frank Delfino, an associate who sometimes serves as Annalise's go-to guy for, well, her dirty work, on How to Get Away With Murder. Weber will head back to the big screen in 2016 in Jarhead 3: The Siege.
Liza Weil: Bonnie Winterbottom
Before: TV fans know her for her work on Gilmore Girls as Rory's rival-turned-friend Paris Geller (above), a character created for the actress. She joined Shonda Rhimes' Scandal in 2011, landing the recurring role of Amanda Tanner, a White House aide.
Now: Rhimes brought Weil to How to Get Away With Murder, in which the actress plays the icy Bonnie Winterbottom, an associate to Annalise Keating. On the big screen, Weil acted alongside her fellow Shondaland inhabitant Darby Stanchfield in the indie film Medicine Men.
Katie Findlay: Rebecca Sutter
Before: Long before she played murder suspect Rebecca Sutter on How to Get Away With Murder, she played murder victim Rosie Larsen on The Killing (above). The Canadian actress' turn as the teenager whose murder catalyzes the crime drama led her to landing a role on The Carrie Diaries, as well as appearances in indie films like 2014's Premature.
Now: Findlay's Rebecca toyed with the audience, winning both viewers' sympathies and suspicions at the same time in the knotty role. She'll next star in the psychological thriller The Dark Stranger.
Billy Brown: Nate Lahey
Before: Brown has had plenty of experience wearing the badge, having played Detective Mike Anderson on the Showtime drama Dexter (above). Then again, Brown is a TV regular, having nabbed roles on Sons of Anarchy, The Following, Dirt, and more before heading to Shondaland.
Now: As Detective Nate Lahey, Brown shares most of his scenes with Viola Davis' Annalise. He's set to return for the second season and will likely continue to pursue the mighty law professor.
Tom Verica: Sam Keating
Before: Verica, a frequent Shonda Rhimes collaborator, directed episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal (for which he also served as an EP), before being cast in How to Get Away With Murder. The actor-director also starred in the 1960s-set drama American Dreams as the disapproving father to Brittany Snow's Meg Pryor (above).
Now: He may have spent much of his How to Get Away With Murder screen time playing the dead body of Sam Keating, but off-screen, he's been busy executive producing and directing Scandal, staying well within the boundaries of Shondaland.
Conrad Ricamora: Oliver
Before: The actor may not have had any TV credits before entering Shondaland, but he's well-trained on the stage, receiving a Theatre World Ward for his performance as Ninoy Aquino in the Off-Broadway musical Here Lies Love (above).
Now: Ricamora plays Connor's love interest, Oliver, whose computer skills helped the law student navigate his tough cases, until the two developed a deeper, fan-favorite relationship that will return in season 2.