“I’m a coffin girl in my real life but Desna is a stiletto girl. We all have a different nail shape on the show. Virginia is coffin, Polly is oval, Jenn is square and Ann is more of a natural, very short length” is how Niecy described her castmates’ preferred claws. “We all have a different nail the show that speaks to our own personalities.”
Emmy Award-winning actress Niecy Nash is the main protagonist in the TNT series Claws which follows the lives of five women who work in a Florida nail salon. From the outside looking in, Desna (Nash), Polly (Carrie Preston), Ann (Judy Reyes) Virginia (Karreuche Tran) and Jennifer (Jenn Lyon) live seemingly normal lives, but these women are harboring a deep secret.
When they aren’t painting nails or desperately trying to juggle the drama in their personal lives, they work as illegal money launderers for a bisexual drug boss named Uncle Daddy (Dean Norris). The ladies quickly learn that sticking together may be the only way out of this mess but nothing worth having comes easy. Followed by a series of sex, drugs, murder, love and even more sex, Claws is the perfect combination of action, drama and comedy.
We sat down with Niecy, who dished on Season 3 of Claws premiering tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.
So, what can we expect from this new season of Claws? Will it be even crazier than last season, if that’s even possible?
Niecy Nash: Desna has wanted to boss up for a hot minute now. Now that she has this casino, it’s like more money, more problems. It tests the relationship with these women in a way because you’ll find out, with [Desna] that power corrupts. You always want to say you’re doing this for a good reason and you’re trying to help everybody but are you? So, that’s what we get to see her go through that struggle and how it affects her relationships with the women.
We heard that you directed an episode this season, as well as Carrie Preston. What was it like finally having creative control of all the craziness that takes place throughout the show?
Niecy Nash: I love telling people what to do! You get to shift the atmosphere on set. I’m the first director in three seasons that ever-played music between set ups. You know, a little Stevie Wonder, 90’s R&B just to give the crew a little bit of a boost. I brought in a second line band for them because it’s New Orleans and that’s how you celebrate people that you love. I had t-shirts made with my signature catch phrase, by the way, which is “Who’s not ready?!”. When I yell that out, whatever department that is not ready does not want to be the one who’s not ready. Nobody wants to say they’re not ready. Then I’ll say alright, cameras up, let’s do this. It was really a good time but it was exhausting because you’re in it and you have to run and go check playback to make sure you don’t need to change anything. So, it’s a lot of work but I would do it again.
Season 2 of Claws ended on a high note that swiftly turned south when Virginia (Tran) jumps in to the crossfire of a shooting in an effort to protect Desna. This is just one of the many times throughout the series where the ladies have (literally) gone out of their way to protect each other. Loyalty and family reoccurring themes that Niecy believed were crucial to the development of the ladies’ relationship in the show.
“When you look at these group of women, you can color them as a rough group of women who all met under unfortunate circumstances. Desna recognizes that they need a break, because none of them are perfect but their hearts are so good. Once we all come together, there’s protection and sisterhood in numbers. Now, there’s people looking at you who aren’t judging you because they’ve been where you’ve been and they understand that lane. I think that translates to how we move in the world, that we are like the people that we hang with. You’re going to surround yourself with a support system and it’s true that you don’t pick the family that you’re born in to, but you can choose a family outside of that to hold on to. All of these women are loners to a degree and are each other’s safety net.
When you put a group of women together and just let them be in their natural space, you’ll find that there is a bonding that ends up happening. We have been led to believe that what you see on reality TV is the truth of how women communicate and that’s just not true. It’s an entertainment value that does not necessarily speak to the truth of female relationships. It’s a curated TV life that will make you think that women cannot get along and will not love on each other. You just have to do it with your tribe” Niecy explained.
Niecy recently filmed a four-part Netflix series based on the famous Central Park Five case called When They See Us. In it, she plays the mother of Korey Wise, one of the five young men who were wrongly accused and convicted of assaulting and raping a woman jogging through New York City’s Central Park in 1989. That was one of her more serious roles compared to the usual loud, fun and sassy roles that we’re used to seeing her play.
What’s next for you in terms of film or TV? Is there a role that you want to play or direct, or a story that you really want to tell?
Niecy Nash: I have a few personal projects that I would like to see get made and I have people that I want to work with. I really would like to champion what I feel like is an unsung hero that doesn’t get enough credit. When you think about the Marvel [films], they have all these sleek characters with unique powers but there’s nothing like the super power of a mama. It would be so interesting to throw one of them in to the mix.