During the #ClawsUp Tour Mobile Manicure Salon in Harold Square on Thursday, I was able to sit down and have a Q&A with the TNT Claws star, Niecy Nash.
On the show, Mrs. Nash plays Desna Simms, the fabulous owner of the Nail Artisan salon who dabbles in a bit of illegal activity. She explains, “I play a woman who is like so many of my girlfriends. On the south side of 40, not married, no kids, trying to navigate these single streets. Not only that, she is a vibrant, full woman having sex for her own pleasure, not a size two, not wearing her hair straightened out. That woman needed to be on TV and I’m so happy that I’m the conduit to bring her to the masses.”
How does it feel to be someone who paints that perception for other people that you can continue and take all the time you need to get to that level of success. And now that you’re here, how does that feel?
Niecy Nash: I have to say, for me in my journey, it was greater later. No one asked me to be rolling around in a bed as a sexy woman in my twenties. They didn’t even ask in my thirties! They circled when I was well into my forties. I feel like it’s funny because where life imitates art is that I feel like that in my being. I feel like these are my best days, I’m living my best life, in myself and then reflective in my work it’s the same thing that this has all come about for me in what would be considered a woman of a certain age. It’s like fine wine.
In terms of your acting career, you began hosting Clean House and did so for a long time. How was that transition from being in a reality show setting to having a full-blown acting career?
Niecy Nash: I always try new things, I always reinvent. I was a TV host, I was a dancing star, a correspondent, a sitcom actor, and I moved into more dramatic roles; so I try everything. I’m just about what’s new, like what’s that over there? I wanna taste it! People ask, “What do you prefer?” Work.
How have you tackled getting into character?
Niecy Nash: I think one thing, where Desna and I are very similar, is that I’ve been a mother a long time. And even though she doesn’t have children, she is taking care of her brother Dean, her whole life. They have been in and out of group homes together and she’s been his primary caregiver and then she takes care, and mothers the women in the salon. So the need to make sure everybody is well and everybody is whole, that everybody eats, we’re the exact mirror of each other in that way. So that part was easy. Having all the boys like me, well, that was easy too!
How will we see Desna grow this season?
Niecy Nash: Well in season one she was trying to get out from underneath the thumb of the Dixie mafia. In season two, she is leaning in. She has a new mentor, a new lover, a lot of new things are happening in her life. It almost puts her on a fast track this season.
How do you see the theme of survival reflecting from the real world into the show?
Niecy Nash: I feel like you’re rooting for Desna. She is a hood chick with a dream. She fell for a bad boy, which we all done a time or two, and in most of our lives, it either effects your credit, time, energy; and for some of us, your womb. So when you see her, her aspirations are common. I just want to get out from underneath, I just want to live well, live better. And is it so lofty to say I just want a nice nail salon? It’s those types of things that I think people who are on the outside watching say, “I can lean into that because all I want to do is go to nursing school, or do hair, I just want to try to better my situation.”I think that there are some commonalities that people could look at and say either “I am her,” or, “I know her.”
What’s next for Niecy?
Niecy Nash: The next thing that’s going to happen is I’m getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 11th. After that, I am doing my own show in the Love Space. After that, I want to segue into directing, and then I’m going to do a movie with my BFF Chrissy Metz! And I’ve never said that out loud until right now, so I’m doing a movie with Chrissy Metz, BOOM!
Be sure to tune into Claws season two tonight on TNT at 9 P.M!