Niecy Nash wants more diversity at Emmy Awards

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Niecy Nash says the Emmy Awards have more work to do when it comes to the diversity of nominees.

"The Emmys this year, as opposed to what we saw at the Oscars, there is more diversity in that there are a lot more African-Americans who are nominated," she said. "But the world is bigger than that. The world is bigger than black and white. I'm not discounting this step. But it's the first of many."

Nash is nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy for the quirky HBO series "Getting On" at the Emmys on Sunday.

Though she wishes for a more inclusive lineup, she's thrilled with the age range of the female nominees.

More than half of the women nominated for lead and supporting actress awards are over 40 — with ages ranging from Tatiana Maslany, 29, to Lily Tomlin, 76.

"I have girls that are younger than me and older than me in my category," said Nash, 45. "We've cast a large net in terms of the age range. That is a good get."

Nash, who is best known for comedies like "Reno 911!" and "The Soul Man," takes a more serious turn in "Getting On."

In a recent interview she discussed her struggle with typecasting and what it means to be recognized for an understated performance.

Associated Press: How did you find out about your Emmy nomination?

Nash: We were actually filming 'Getting On.' ... Our writers were coming toward me, just smiling, and I was like 'What?' And they were like, 'Everyone, we have an announcement. Miss Niecy was nominated.' And when I tell you I cried like a baby, I mean I wept. And I started shaking. And then I realized 'my momma's not here!' So I tried to pull my phone out real fast to document it, but I didn't even know what to say. I ended up posting a video on my Twitter and Instagram that just basically was me bawling.

AP: What was it like to land the role of Nurse DiDi in "Getting On"?

Nash: So many times in this business I have been told by agents, managers and casting, 'You do a certain thing and that's what you do.' And you know, when God writes something on the canvas of your imagination and no one else around you sees it, you have those moments where you're like, 'I know I can do something else. I just know it.' ... When I walked into that ('Getting On') audition and (they) said, 'This girl can do something else,' I felt like someone finally saw the me that I had been looking at for such a long time.

AP: How is this role different?

Nash: I had always been called on to 'do more' — 'Can you do that a little bigger? Can we have it more over the top? Can't you get another pair of eyelashes?' ... And this performance in 'Getting On' is so stripped down of all of that. Of the glamorous hair, of the makeup, of the cleavage, of the sass. ... They even said 'no Spanx!' Thanks a lot HBO!

AP: What doors has it opened for you?

Nash: Playing nurse DiDi has been such a gift. ... I got a call from a director, Miss Ava DuVernay, and she said, 'I saw you in a tiny, little piece in 'Getting On.' ... I would love for you to do 'Selma.' I said, 'Girl, you had me at hello. I was already on the plane on my way down South.' And also, too, with 'The Mindy Project.' The guys over there said, 'We are in love with 'Getting On' and we love your performance and we wrote something with you in mind.' ... It has been the gift that keeps on giving. Who knew that my less could be so much more? Could give me so much more?




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