PopWrapped -Nikki, you've convincingly tackled serious roles on hugely successful shows like Walker, Texas Ranger, Criminal Minds, NCIS, CSI, and Cold Case. How were those experiences different than working on a comedy series like Sirens? What were you most excited about, when you found out you would be guest-starring?
NIKKI -First of all, thank you for saying "convincingly." That's very kind. Honestly, I really approach each job in a similar way, whether it's comedy or drama. Figure out the story that the writer is trying to tell and the character and try and bring it to life in the most authentic way. With comedy, however, you are also looking for moments that garner laughter. You are trying to honor the joke that the writer worked so hard to craft. There's also a light-heartedness to comedy that often sets a different tone on set than dramas. There's an atmosphere of play, and nowhere have I felt that more than on the set of Sirens. From the showrunner to the cast, they all show up to have fun. I had the best time working on this show. My face would hurt from smiling and laughing so hard at the end of the day. I was mostly excited to work with the three main guys on the show, who are SO good at what they do and to work with Annabel Oakes, who wrote on Awkward. Also, Bob Fisher, who is one of the best showrunners in the industry.
PW- Can you give us any hints on what to expect from your Sirens character, Sheila? We hear Sheila spends the night in the ER with Hank? Can you tell us anything more?
NIKKI -Well, she's an overworked, overtired, single mom of a ten-year-old girl. She ends up in the ER with Hank having the best night she's had in years. She also gets a new gay best friend out of the whole deal which is a huge victory for Sheila.
PW- You play one of the sexiest moms on television, with your role as Lacey Hamilton on MTV's #1 Scripted show, Awkward. Did Lacey teach you anything about being a mother in real-life?
NIKKI -Again, thank you so much for the compliment! I will definitely take that as most days, in my own life, I can't find the time to brush my hair. Lacey taught me that you are going to mess up and make lots of mistakes but if you just keep showing up for your kid with the best of intentions, lots of love, and a handful of "I'm sorry's," it's going to be okay in the end.
PW- ...Also, you're playing a LOT of mom roles lately, and have throughout your career. Do you specifically go after those roles, or do they just seem to find you?
NIKKI -They just keeping finding me but I love it! It's such a nuanced archetype. I'm also very fortunate to get to inhabit this role of mother at a very exciting time. In the past, mothers were only written one way but we are not all June Cleaver. Now, we finally get to bring to life all the different versions of mom. It's great.
PW- How did your role on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club prepare you for your journey in entertainment?
NIKKI -I couldn't have asked for a better educational foundation. The biggest thing I learned was a strong work ethic. We worked really hard on that show. However, we also had a blast. I think that's really important. Show up, be professional, be prepared, don't waste people's time, but also have fun while doing it.
PW -With The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, and girl-group, Innosense, you proved that you're clearly a very accomplished singer and dancer. Would you ever consider pursuing a career on Broadway, or embarking on another musical adventure?
NIKKI -The answer to that, very simply, is yes.
PW -You're a frequent contributor to SheKnows.com, a community in which women can share their life experiences, advice, and empowerment. You discuss being a mother, a wife and aren't afraid to sort of, let it all hang out. Has it been freeing to share some of your more intimate, and personal life experiences there?
NIKKI -Absolutely. I'm so fortunate that they have given me a platform for which to "let it all hang out" as you said. When I began the journey of being a mom, I found tons of information online regarding how to do everything perfectly. That's important and tremendously valuable, but I also wanted to read about the mother who didn't always get it right and who was a little messy along the way because that's me! Being a mother is the greatest joy of my life. It's also the hardest thing I've ever done. Those stories also need to be told and I figured why not go for it! I'd like to send a special thanks to Nikki, for chatting with me, and be sure to check out her episode of Sirens, which airs Tuesday, February 10th at 10 pm/9c on USA!
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