Niecy Nash on 'When They See Us' and "Reintroducing" Herself: "I Don't Want to Be a Sassy, Black Anything"
"Leaning into this woman that I played [in 'When They See Us'], she wasn't a sassy anything. It was absolutely delicious to find her pain, and her brokenness. In some places, it overlapped mine."
"This is the first time I've ever done a project where they provided crisis counselors," Niecy Nash said of her work on Ava DuVernay's Central Park Five series, When They See Us. "After the end of the day, there was a number you could call and somebody would talk to you. The material was so heavy."
"I felt so full at the end of the day, but so driven to tell the story. You just get back up and you figure it out and you muscle through it, because that has to be more important than how you feel," Nash told The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actress Roundtable.
Nash brought her whole creative team together before landing the When They See Us role to "reintroduce" herself, explaining that she no longer wants the same things professionally and creatively as she did when she was first starting out. "Back then, I was just hungry. I wanted to eat. Now the refrigerator is full."
"I don't want to be a sassy, black anything," Nash told the roundtable. "I don't want to be a sassy, black mama. I don't want to be a sassy, black neighbor. I don't want to be a sassy, black friend. There's so many more notes to be played."
"Leaning into this woman that I played [in When They See Us], she wasn't a sassy anything. It was absolutely delicious to find her pain, and her brokenness. In some places, it overlapped mine."
The full Drama Actress Roundtable airs July 7 on SundanceTV. Nash appears on the roundtable panel along with Patricia Arquette, Christine Baranski, Danai Gurira, Emilia Clarke and Michelle Williams. Follow all the Emmy season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.