“Happy Holidaaaaaays!” says Niecy Nash over the phone.
The star is feeling the holiday spirit. Despite the state of things these days, the 50-year-old actress has a lot to be merry about. She’s a newlywed after marrying Jessica Betts in August. She also has some great projects lined up, from the final season of TNT’s Claws to an ABC limited series called Women of the Movement focusing on the killing of Emmett Till and the ways in which it galvanized the civil rights movement. In general though, Nash is a Christmas person. She loves to put together parties and fun ways to enjoy such occasions with loved ones. Even though she won’t be able to celebrate with a big group as she normally would, she plans to make memories with her wife, kids and mom this season. She, along with the rest of us, will get some help from HP (Hewlett-Packard) to spread some holiday cheer. They’re offering free, easy-to-print and customizable holiday cards to send to loved ones you can’t be with this season, or just to have to make yourself feel more jolly. We talked with Nash about her partnership with HP, her plans for making the holidays special with her family, and during a season of being thankful, how she’s grateful for the journey she’s been on. Check out what one of our faves had to say.
MadameNoire: What are some of your favorite things to do this time of the year, and how have those plans been impacted with the pandemic?
Niecy Nash: Well, my favorite thing to do is to gather with people that I love and to curate special events. But you know, because of quarantine and COVID and all of those sorts of things, we’ve had to do things a little bit differently. I’m really happy that I ended up partnering with HP Printables because it allowed me to curate some holiday magic while staying at home. I love that they give free crafts and activities to families to be able to make your own holiday card. I haven’t been on a red carpet since Jesus was a baby. Doing this, I was able to put on a beautiful dress and lay out on my couch and take a fabulous picture and send it to my family and friends. Then I said, “Ooh wait a minute! Let’s put our pajamas on. Let’s curate a card like this!” So I love that we were still able to have a fun experience and still stay inside and stay safe.
And how else are you improvising and making a smaller home-based holiday special with your family?
Well, I just got married, so I can keep it real intimate if I want to if you know what I’m saying. We’re in adult quarantine! I could easily do that. I love to have a lot of people over but I won’t be able to do that. So it will just be our children and my mom. It will be very, very small. I normally like it very, very big, but we’re scaling down.
Congratulations on your recent nuptials! I wanted to ask you, in terms of your family, specifically your children, how important was it to have their support, though they’re grown, before saying “I do” again?
You know, I think it’s a blessing that we have it. Was it necessary? No. No, because I’m going to live, honey. I’m going to do everything I want to do and sometimes I’m going to do it twice! So I didn’t need it, but the fact that I have it feels like a blessing.
The final season of Claws is coming up. How are you feeling about saying goodbye to a character like Desna?
You know, Desna taught me a lot. She’s many things and I will say goodbye to her in theory, but not goodbye to her as a character in my being. Because sometimes I’m about to do a certain thing and I will kind of hear her. She’s taught me a lot. I’ve enjoyed it!
I know you also have a big project coming up next year called Women of the Movement, produced by Jay-Z. Can you share what we can expect from you in that?
I’m going to be a part of the Emmett Till story. Jay-Z is producing and I will play Emmett Till’s grandmother.
I love that you said, “Okay,” like “Grandmother?! Wait!”
[laughs] I thought you were gonna be the mama! [laughs]
[laughs] Girl, stop! I did too! I was like, “Well, let me get myself together to play Mamie Till! Oh, no? It’s Alma? It’s the grandmother? Oh okay.” [laughs] What can you do?
Do you feel like you’re getting your just dues now? It’s been a long journey and you’ve had a wide variety of roles. As of late, you’ve been getting nominated for your work, you’ve been on the cover of magazines, done hosting, and you have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Do you feel like you’re getting the opportunities and respect you’re owed?
You know, I don’t know about owed, but I am definitely at a place where I’m enjoying the journey. It’s crazy. People say it but, I just turned 50 and I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m like, “Oh okay! Let’s see what’s next!” So what I’m due? I don’t know about that. But I know that I’m definitely enjoying the place that God has me in right now.
Get your own free holiday crafts and cards by checking out HP’s site, HP.com/holidaymagic