×

‘Scream Queens’ Star Niecy Nash on Loving Jamie Lee Curtis, Hating Horror & Her Emmy Nom

Niecy Nash admits she isn’t exactly a fan of horror movies. But she couldn’t resist when executive producer Ryan Murphy called her to offer her the role of Denise in “Scream Queens,” the well-intentioned security guard who’s hired to protect the sorority sisters from the devil-suited killer.

How did you get the part in “Scream Queens”?

When Ryan called, I said, “I don’t even know what you want but you had me at hello.” The answer is yes and when.

How did you know Ryan?

I’d done something for him many years ago that was only a pilot. I don’t know why he called back. But I do know that this project is so delicious. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. I said, this genre, I don’t know how you’re going to make it happen. But I know that you’re brilliant. And what day do you need me to be there?

What’s the secret of Ryan’s talent?

I‘m just a fan of his, period. What is going on under that shaved head? What is going on in that mind? How does it even work? And how do you get it all done? It’s all so seamless. You’re brilliant and dark and weird and funny and I love every minute of it, of the regalia that is Ryan.

Are you a horror fan?

No, and I’m still not. I don’t like to be scared one bit. But I’m such a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis that when I found out she was doing the show I started practicing my screaming. But then someone called the police so I had to knock it off.  I don’t know where she’s been my whole life. I’m obsessed with her. We’re totally BFFs and I love every minute of it.

Do you get to improvise at all?

I think I’m the only one who take after take gets to play with these words. We get a take down that’s to the script, and after that it’s, “Niecy, play with it, try something else.” I would be interested to see some of the outtakes. I hope they put them online!

If your character survives, will you come back for another season?
I would come back in a heartbeat. Because this is the most fun thing. I might have to clone myself and have my twin come back.

Sounds like you’re enjoying yourself.

I’m just happy. I’m in a place where I’m really having a charmed experience. I have three projects I’m doing at the same time. I just got picked up for the fifth season of “The Soul Man.” I’m here doing “Scream Queens,” and there’s the Emmy nom for “Getting On.” I don’t know why God opened up a window of blessings over my head but I’m glad that he did.

Congratulations on your Emmy nomination.

For such a long time in this business, I have been very gently told that you have a lane, and stay in it. I always said, “But I can do something else. I can do other things.” But it was like, “No, dear, this is what you do. Bigger hair, more makeup, more over the top.” So to receive a nomination for this role was a long time in coming. I’m beyond grateful that peers looked at that work and said, “We want to invite this girl to the party.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content