Niecy Nash has an energy vibe like no other. The wicked-smart, stay-true-to-herself star took a turn at directing this year and loved it, stepping behind the camera for an episode of her hit crime drama Claws, which returns to TNT for its third season on Sundays beginning June 9.
After a shocking season finale that saw Virginia (Karrueche Tran) taking a bullet for Desna (Nash), Desna is more driven than ever to become a boss. “I almost lost someone in my crew. I have to make it work. I have to step up and show that it wasn’t all for nothing,” Nash shares. “In Desna’s mind she’s entered into a place where she’s never been before — ‘Do you know how much money I can launder through a casino? This is going to be great.’ And like anything, once you think it’s going to be great, it ends up being anything but.”
Here Nash shares some secrets on the new season and answers some of our offbeat questions.
What can you share with us about the new season of Claws?
The theme for Season 3 overall is that every relationship on the show is going to be tested. And you won’t find out until the end how it shakes out. And, somebody — and I won’t tell you who — somebody is pregnant!
What was set life like with you directing?
I’m directing Episode 5. It’s important to me as a director, making sure to shift the atmosphere and create a very warm and fun environment on set. I had music playing in between setups. I got everybody T-shirts on it with my catchphrase — “Who’s Not Ready?” – if you’re waiting around and you say “Who’s not ready?” No one wants to be the reason you’re not ready. … I realized that my style as a director is to direct my actors in private, but then praise them in public. … People were up, they were happy. That’s my vibe. I don’t care what I’m doing in life, I want you to be better when I leave you than you were before I came.
What can you tell us about some of the newer characters – like Mack (Michael Horse) and Melba (Rebecca Creskoff)? By the way, Melba’s oxygen mask is hilarious.
Let’s stay tuned. Is it really oxygen? We need to find out what’s going on. They’re great. Desna does not suffer fools. If you are not stepping up and meeting a need, you know this woman is not going to keep you around.
Desna’s fashion is always such a standout. What wardrobe highlights can you tease for this season? Anything you get to keep?
I’m a little bit more cooled up in terms of the fashion. I would probably have to say, there was a leopard – like a yellow and black leopard printed coatdress that came with these thigh-high feather boots – they were just a lovely situation. I just leaned all the way into it. While I love Desna, I don’t think we actually dress the same so keeping it would be a moot point and I’m not going to wear it.
When you were growing up what were some of your favorite shows?
I loved What’s Happening!! I loved Diff’rent Strokes. I watched a lot of comedies. I was a fan of stuff like that even though I did watch Eight Is Enough and The Brady Bunch — because I came from such a small family, I loved shows that had big families. I just felt like times were different, though — me and Laura Ingalls could have been best friends.
What makes you laugh on TV these days?
You know I worked with Cedric the Entertainer for many years, as I played his wife on television for five years [in The Soul Man]. Now he has a new TV wife, and in spite of the fact that I’m not his TV wife anymore, I think The Neighborhood is funny.
What is your most prized possession that you would never give away?
George Lopez, when I got my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, gave me a ring almost the size of a Super Bowl ring. It’s a beautiful diamond ring with a star in the center that replicates my star on the Walk of Fame. It has my name going across it. It has an imprint of my body on one side, and Hollywood on the other side of it. It’s the most gorgeous thing ever, and I would never part with it. It’s like a beautiful Easter egg sitting on my finger. I just love it.
Season 3 of Claws returns to TNT on Sunday, June 9 at 9/8c.