How to Get Away With Murder star Charlie Weber says Frank has reached his 'tipping point'
Warning: This article contains spoilers for How to Get Away With Murder season 6, episode 14, "Annalise Keating Is Dead."
Despite being a murderer and quite possibly a sociopath, we can't help but have a soft spot for Frank Delfino.
The troubled ex-con had to contend with some major demons on Thursday night's penultimate episode. Between the sudden return of Laurel (Karla Souza) as a witness for the prosecution and Bonnie's late night bombshell that Sam (Tom Verica) was his father, Frank (Charlie Weber) had to process a lot of his past in less than 24 hours. And it just might've led to more murder.
For the most part, Frank seemed to be doing well. After confronting Laurel about her decision to testify against Annalise, he hashed out their relationship, realizing Laurel made him feel accepted and normal, but that he truly loved Bonnie (Liza Weil). He also praised Laurel for having the courage to save herself and Christopher.
Ultimately, with encouragement from Frank and Annalise (Viola Davis), as well as the reveal that Xavier nearly killed Frank, Laurel broke down on the stand and admitted she was lying under oath after being coerced by the FBI.
The episode proved a stressful time for everyone, with the official start of the state's trial against Annalise Keating for murder. To make matters worse, Annalise took over as her own counsel when the prosecution raised questions of Tegan (Amirah Vann) having a conflict of interest. This meant Annalise was left to cross-examine Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and Connor (Jack Falahee). The Keating Four have never been great at facing off against Annalise, and her examination led to further discord and the revelations that only Connor was still facing jail time as part of his plea deal.
But the biggest blow came with the news that Hannah (Marcia Gay Harden), Annalise's potentially life-saving witness, had been found dead in her home. It was ruled a suicide, but Bonnie feared that Frank, after learning of his parentage, might have had something to do with it.
To get the gory details on whether Bonnie's fears are well-founded, we called up our favorite hit man, Charlie Weber to talk Frank's dissolute past and perhaps even grimmer future.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How shocked were you by this reveal of Frank's parentage because when I talked to at the beginning of the season you said, and I quote, “I think we know about as much as someone like Frank as we’re going to?"
CHARLIE WEBER: Yeah, okay, well, obviously I was mistaken. As you know the show unravels to [creator Pete Nowalk] over the course of time, and we get our scripts. and he throws you a curveball here and there. He called me to his office to pitch that to me. Whenever you get to make a show like this for this long, there's going to be some crazy twists and turns along the way. To his credit, he really wanted to know how I felt about that, but honestly, it kind of made sense in a weird way to me and I didn't fight against it. I just accepted it and tried to see what I could do with that information as an actor. It didn't feel like it really compromised my performance because [Frank] didn't know that. It's new information. It does, in a certain way, tie up a lot of stories in an interesting way. I almost played Tom Verica's son on American Dreams. That role went to Will Estes, so I was fulfilling my destiny to play Tom Verica's son.
Frank grew up in jail and has carried around the guilt over Annalise and Sam’s child for years. Does knowing what he was a product of fundamentally alter how he views any of that?
I don't know. I think it's just adds to the confusion of a very confused man. This is going to be a tipping point for Frank. He signed his death warrant a long time ago, and this is just the last straw to find that out about one's self when you already have feelings of worthlessness and depression. This is a piece of information, I'm not sure he's going to be able to process.
How much might this revelation totally upend and destabilize him?
Even further. It's just further down the rabbit hole. I don't think this is going to help at all.
How might this threaten his relationship with Bonnie or whether he believes himself worthy of love?
I think that's going to be problematic with him. He will lose even further what grasp he has on reality. I don't think it changes his feelings for her at all, but his self-worth is going to take yet another hit.
You have said before you feel like most of his actions are driven by a sense of love and loyalty, and he does the things he does to try to win the love of people he cares for. Do you feel like that rather twisted approach to love, might now with hindsight, be born out of his very abusive origins?
Yes and no. Throughout all of this, I've never wanted to excuse his actions. Is he a sociopath? What is he? I've never bothered to really get those words out despite a lot research about those things because he does have a lot of borderline personality tendencies. But I've never wanted to give him an excuse. I've always wanted these things to be his choices that he's doing of his own free will.
At the end of the episode, Bonnie posits Frank might’ve killed Hannah and made it look like suicide. How likely is that scenario?
Given the course of the show, it's extremely likely. I remember convincing Pete to let Frank be the one to kill Wallace Mahoney, and he felt that was a little too on the nose and I said, "That's kind of the idea." Every now and again people have to just guess right; every now and then it needs to be the obvious answer. Ultimately, we agreed and let Frank be the one who would kill Wallace Mahoney. Whether or not it's Frank, I can't say, but that is simply the logical answer.
Does Frank being able to recognize he loves Laurel still, but for a different reason than his love for Bonnie represent significant growth on his part to you?
I saw it as acceptance, and acceptance is definitely growth, so yes. There's another person that is like him, and it's okay to be this way. Despite his acceptance of being a pretty bad person, it was growth in the sense that he finally truly accepted himself. Laurel was him trying to be a normal person. and he can't be normal.
How much guilt do you think he feels for choosing Laurel? It seems to me there’s some sense that once again his choices greatly disrupted Annalise’s life.
Guilt isn't necessarily the word but certainly this responsibility to clean up the mess he created. He feels liable for choosing her and all the things that came with that. Guilt is not something that is really; he's not hammered by guilt, it's his ownership. He owns that he chose her, it's created a complete mess and he has to clean that up.
What role might he choose to continue to play in both Laurel and Christopher’s lives?
I think he knows enough that he needs to stay away. I think he cares enough to know he needs to stay away.
How much do both Hannah and Xavier’s death complicate things for Frank? Might he have to take the blame for either of those?
It creates a whole new complication for him in that at this point, all bets are off. I don't think Frank has any illusions that this is going to turn out ok.
Did you ever feel significantly team Laurel or team Bonnie? Were you happy ultimately that it's Bonnie?
I am. I'm happy that the story took that route because I think that it's a reflection of what I said about Frank's character. That is his truth and to let a character find their truth means a lot. He dropped the facade. He stopped attempting to be whatever he thought regular people are supposed to be like, and he accepted who he was. He found somebody who shares that same issue of they're bound by this trauma and abuse. I am so happy that he found that and accepted it.
To you, what's the worse thing Frank has ever done?
For me personally, I would say the worst thing Frank has ever done is kill Lila Stangard. She was an innocent girl. It was at the behest of somebody who had control over him. Of all the things that he's done, that's the one person that was innocent. She didn't do anything wrong. And I do stand by that he did not know she was pregnant. It displayed something in my relationship with Sam, but if we're talking the worst from a moral standpoint, that's the worst thing he ever did.
It definitely feels even worse now knowing that he killed his father's pregnant girlfriend.
What's so hard to the whole storyline of Sam being his father is that both Lila and Annalise were carrying his half sibling. They were both related to Frank, which was pretty crazy. It really turns things on its head. Also, [Rome Flynn, who plays Gabriel] is my half brother on the show. It really ties a lot of things together and creates a whole new dynamic for some. What we tried to do is make the most complicated show possible (laughs).
Can you tease the finale and what's ahead for Frank in the final hour?
Frank is going to do the things he feels he needs to do to protect the people that he loves and to display ultimately, the crescendo of what it is that he is. As far as the episode itself, series finales are tough, and we all know that. But this was a great script, we shot a great show, and I really think we put forward a very, very wonderful series finale.
Viola Davis stars as a law professor where she teaches, wait for it, how to get away with murder.