Aja Naomi King (born January 11, 1985) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Michaela Pratt in the ABC legal drama series, How to Get Away with Murder.
King was born in Los Angeles, California. She received a BFA in Acting from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA from Yale University's School of Drama in 2010. At Yale University, King performed in a number of productions, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Little Shop of Horrors and Angels in America.
King appeared in several short films in the early period of her career. She made her television debut in 2010 with guest-starring role in the CBS procedural Blue Bloods, and later appeared on Person of Interest, The Blacklist and Deadbeat. She made her feature film debut in the 2011 independent film Damsels in Distress opposite Greta Gerwig. Her big break came in 2012 when she was cast as new surgical intern Cassandra Kopelson and the series primary antagonist, on the CW medical comedy-drama series, Emily Owens, M.D. The series was canceled after a single season in 2013. She later starred in the Amazon Studios comedy pilot The Onion Presents: The News.
In 2013, King co-starred in two independent films. She played Wendell Pierce's character daughter Abigayle in the independent drama Four, released on September 13, 2013. Along with her castmates, she won a Los Angeles Film Festival Award for Best Performance by Cast for her role in this movie. She also appeared alongside Laverne Cox, Britne Oldford and Franky G in the 36 Saints. In 2014 she had supporting role in the romantic comedy The Rewrite starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei.
In 2014, King had a recurring role of Ali Henslee in the ABC medical drama series, Black Box starring Kelly Reilly as title character. The series was canceled after single season. On February, 2014 she was cast as one of the lead characters in the ABC legal thriller How to Get Away with Murder produced by Shonda Rhimes. The series stars Viola Davis as a law professor. King plays the role of Michaela Pratt, one of the five lead students, alongside Jack Falahee, Alfred Enoch, Matt McGorryand Karla Souza. The series premiered on September 25, 2014 with generally positive reviews from critics and a massive 14 million viewers. King received her firstNAACP Image Award nomination for her performance in series.
In 2015, King had the leading role in the science fiction thriller film Reversion. She also was cast as female lead in the historical drama film The Birth of a Nationbased on the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. The film also stars Nate Parker, Aunjanue Ellis, Gabrielle Union and Armie Hammer.