Is Doucheface the new Pornstache? Matt McGorry thinks so.
"He's the Pornstache of How to Get Away with Murder," the actor tells TVGuide.com, comparing his Murder character — Asher Millstone, aka Doucheface — to the mustachioed prison guard played by Pablo Schreiber on Orange Is the New Black, on which McGorry also stars. "Pornstache is more sadistic than Asher," McGorry goes on to explain, "but you see him falling in love with Daya [on Orange]. With Asher, you get moments of humanity like that as well."
Fans saw a snippet of that humanity last week, when Asher teared up after Team Keating clinched the win in court. This week, the show will delve deeper into Asher's character and background when Annalise (Viola Davis) takes on a new client who was sentenced to death by Asher's father years ago. "This is an important case to Annalise, and the fact that his father has a role in it is actually a big part of why he's chosen the path he's chosen," McGorry says. "It's a little unclear why she hired me, but I think that this was a big part of it."
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As the case progresses, Asher will prove that he's more than just a doucheface when he dangles a piece of information that Annalise needs in front of her — and he's not going to give it up easily. "You see a tiny bit of a power shift when Asher has something that Annalise wants, and I use that to my benefit," McGorry says. "I don't know if people expect him to do that ... but I think Asher is smarter than he leads on. He's not the type of person who wants to be forward about his intelligence; he likes to play dumb sometimes."
At first blush, Asher seems like a stereotypical rich kid jerk — aggressive, loud, arrogant, entitled — but over the course of Murder's last few episodes, he's emerged as more of a comic-relief bro who's full of one-liners ("We make good spies!") yet doesn't actually mean any harm (as of now).
"I feel like I have the room to be the ass---- I want to be or the doucheface on the show ... but I think he's more of a doofus than a douchebag. He's more than just Doucheface," McGorry says. "I always think the biggest douchebags are usually the most insecure people, and that comes from actually having feelings, and you get to see some of that revealed in [Thursday's episode]. It's going to be very satisfying. It's going to make the character that much more relatable. I like to think he has some redeemable qualities and I try to put that in there as much as possible. I understand that in TV people like likable people. In film, you can get away with playing a terrible person. In TV, you're in people's homes every week. But I like to think it's more conscious than me trying to keep my job!"
It is also likely no accident that Asher is on the outside looking in on the night of Sam's (Tom Verica) murder. Lest we forget, Asher was MIA in the bonfire/flying cheerleader/murdered professor flash-forwards until two weeks ago, when he came pounding on Annalise's door looking for the rest of the Keating Five and the Immunity Idol. (Thursday's episode will also reveal exactly where Asher was when Sam bit it.) McGorry, who says he wasn't worried about Asher's flash-fate during the first three episodes, points out that unlike everyone else on the drama, Asher doesn't really lie, which could spell trouble for the other four.
"He's up-front," the actor says. "He has qualities that make him a jerk, but he's very up-front with who he is. Pretty much every other character lies about something or is hiding something. Even Annalise lies. Michaela [Aja Naomi King] tries to steal the outlines, Laurel [Karla Souza] has tons of lies and is making out with Frank [Charlie Weber], Connor [Jack Falahee] plays and sleeps with people for information. Wes [Alfred Enoch] was keeping Lila's phone a secret. That's the forgiving thing about Asher: He is who he is and he has no apologies. And they work together, but they're not best friends, and now they're trying to keep this murder under wraps while I'm getting in the middle of it."
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But just because Asher doesn't currently tell lies or keep secrets, that doesn't he can't or won't be forced to start, right? After all, McGorry promises that "something big" involving Asher happens at the end of Thursday's episode, and that it will have people talking.
"It's not quite the 'Nine Words,' but it's my 'Nine Words,' I guess," he says. "I've never gotten to play such a range of emotion in a single episode. ... There's funny stuff, emotional stuff and flat-out crazy stuff. I love the stuff that makes you laugh and cry. It kind of sucker-punches you a little bit. That's the thing that most interests me as a performer, in addition to telling the most captivating story. Hopefully this episode will elicit that same sort of response."
How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.
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