Just because How to Get Away With Murder‘s Frank Delfino has blood on his hands doesn’t mean he’s devoid of real feelings.
“From what we have seen — and what more we’ll see this season — the [tearful] vulnerability and desperation” that Frank has displayed in Season 3 is “totally genuine,” says Charlie Weber. With his character being frozen out of boss/mother figure Annalise’s life after she learned his actions had led to the car crash in which she lost her baby, “He’s completely, completely lost. He’s hurt, he’s scared, he’s in a situation he hasn’t faced in a really long time — if ever. He has everything to lose.”
TVLine caught up with Weber to preview tonight’s installment (10/9c on ABC), talk about Frank’s physical transformation and get any hints about whether it’s the once-bearded fixer who’s “under the sheet” in the show’s fire-night flash-forwards. (Frank, after all, is one of only three core characters, along with Connor and Nate, who haven’t been ruled out as being the man who failed to survive the inferno.)
TVLINE | With his beard gone and his hair buzzed, Frank looks so different this season. Given that all the circumstances of his life have been completely flipped, has it been helpful to have that physical delineation?
It was absolutely vital. The physical manifestation of what a character is going through psychologically means a great deal to me. That is something I needed. [Creator] Pete Nowalk, as we were finishing Season 2, we discussed [shaving] Frank’s beard, and it was a no-brainer. But when I brought up the buzz cut, he wondered if that might be a little drastic, so I begged and I pleaded. And finally, he agreed. I felt it was so important to strip everything away metaphorically — and literally show you who this guy is when his back’s against the wall.
TVLINE | Frank’s got this roguish charm that sometimes makes you forget his bad acts — choking the life out of Lila Stangard. Killing Bonnie’s dad. Disposing of Rebecca’s body. A couple weeks back when we saw flashbacks of a young and scary Frank in jail, we got some real insight into his character. What was that like for you?
It was really intense — and I’m glad they brought back the flashbacks with Tom Verica. Sam Keating was so influential to the shaping of Frank and Bonnie — in some very negative ways, but in positive ones, too. In the beginning, Sam helped me find worth inside myself and got me out of jail. The jail thing wasn’t shocking — that idea had been kicked around a little bit — but the idea that Frank committed crimes inside jail so they’d keep him there, that was an interesting thing to delve into. I enjoyed it very much, but it was a very intense situation.
TVLINE | How would you rank Annalise, Bonnie and Laurel in terms of importance to Frank?
Annalise and Bonnie are his absolute family. He would do anything for Annalise, because he feels he owes her so much — and he does love her. Bonnie, he loves on a completely different level; she’s his ally in the house, and always has been. They are people who would never hurt each other intentionally. And Laurel is this idea of or an attempt at conventional, societal love — or what Frank thinks that is.
TVLINE | Frank’s fate is still unknown with only two episodes left until the “Under the Sheet” reveal. What can you tease about that moment? Is it going to be awful?
Awful is a great word. It’s devastating and sad — and it hurt to find out.