Niecy Nash was born Carol Denise Ensley in Palmdale,
California on February 23, 1970. She developed an interest in
show business at a very early age after seeing the fabulous Lola
Falana on TV. But she first earned a B.A. at California State
University before embarking on a career in Hollywood, starting
out as a standup comic.
Known for always wearing a trademark flower in her hair, Niecy
made her big screen debut in Boys on the Side in 1995, which led
to her landing support roles in such movies as Cookie's Fortune,
The Bachelor and Malibu's Most Wanted. The glamorous actress
subsequently appeared in such blockbusters as Spiderman 2, Guess
Who and Code Name: The Cleaner and Reno 911!: Miami, the screen
version of the hit television series where she co-stars as
Deputy Raineesha Williams.
Speaking of TV, Niecy is also recognized for playing Benita, the
late Bernie Mac's sister on The Bernie Mac Show. Here, she talks
about her work in G-Force, the Disney family comedy featuring a
mix of animation and live-action which is currently the #1 movie
at the box office.
Kam Williams (KW): Hi Niecy,
Niecy Nash (NN): Hi baby, how are ya?
KW: Great. Thanks so much for the time.
NN: you're more than welcome.
KW: Do you have one of your trademark flowers in your hair right
now, early in the morning, as we speak?
NN: [Laughs] I'm gonna tell you the truth that I do not.
KW: How did you come to wear a flower all the time?
NN: When I started out in the ’home makeover’ genre, I was the
only black woman doing that type of TV show. But I wasn't na've
enough to think I was going to remain the only one. So I decided
to come up with a way of setting myself aside. It started out as
branding, but now I'm a little tied to it, because if I go out
without a flower, my fans get upset.
KW: What varieties of flowers do you wear?
NN: Oh, roses, orchids, a little bit of everything.
KW: Do florists and fans help you out?
NN: Not so much florists, but fans definitely do.
KW: W.C. Fields once said, ’Never work with children or
animals,’ because you’ll be upstaged. What interested you in
doing G-Force, in spite of that age-old Hollywood maxim?
NN: But you have to work with Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. So,
if it comes down to that, hey! I actually auditioned for him,
and he hired me right away.
KW: Tell me a little about your character, Rosalita.
NN: She's a woman who owns the pet store where the hamsters
live. She's funny and speaks a form of broken Spanish I like to
KW: How hard was it to act opposite invisible animated
NN: In a way, it was a little similar to doing a voiceover, but
they made it as easy as possible.
KW: How, by having a stand-in read their lines?
NN: Yeah, and we played with stuffed animals a lot.
KW: What is G-Force's message?
NN: I'd have to say that the underlying message is that you are
what you believe you are.
KW: Is this movie just for kids?
NN: No, I think adults are going to love it, too.
KW: The last time we spoke was before
Bernie Mac died. You
played his sister on his show and you were also in the movie
Guess Who with him. How were you affected by his passing?
NN: Bernie Mac was one of the most authentic and most generous
people I've had the privilege of working with in this business.
Most people are only familiar with the Bernie they saw on
camera, but just as impressive was the real Bernie, this amazing
man you'd meet off camera.
KW: And how did you feel about the death of
NN: Michael Jackson was a man who sacrificed his childhood to
give us music that would last forever. So, there has to be some
level of respect for his family's privacy. Most people, if they
should, God forbid, drop dead today, there are some things that
they wouldn’t want their family, their friends, or anybody to
know about them. Therefore, when you look at Michael's passing
through that personal lens, it should make you a little more
forgiving in the pursuit of the sort of information the tabloids
KW: Is there any question no one has ever asked you, that you
wish someone would?
NN: No one has ever asked me that. [Laughs] I can't think of
one. Reporters are thorough. KW: Here are some of the questions I got from celebrities when I
asked them that. The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?
NN: First of all, I love Tasha Smith. Secondly, I really try to
exercise my faith, because I find that fear and faith can't
exist inside of me at the same time. If there's anything in my
life that makes me feel fearful, I attempt to face it and
conquer it because I don't rest in a place of fear.
KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?
NN: you got that from Columbus? I mean, you get people to come
up with some gooooooood questions! This makes me feel forced to
come up with one. It's like, ’Wait a minute! I know I can think
of an interesting question, too.’ Let's see. Am I happy? Yes I
am. I live my life believing that any day above ground is a good
day. At this stage of the game, I'm a single woman. I would love
to be sharing my life with someone special. But still, when I
lay my head down at night, I have to say that I love my life. I
love the fact that I am able to live my dream and feed my family
at the same time. Sometimes, those two don't work hand-in-hand.
KW: When I saw you on The View recently, you talked about having
a new boyfriend here in New Jersey. What happened to that
NN: we're still really good friends, but we stopped seeing each
other simply because of our locations. It's really difficult to
date with 3,000 miles between us. Somebody needed to move.
KW: How do you balance raising three kids with your career?
NN: I thank God almost every day for my mother. She helps me a
great deal, because I did not want a nanny or someone I didn't
know in my home helping me with my children. Fortunately, my
mother is able to help me maintain it all. She retired early and
sold her house to move in with us.
KW: ’Realtor to the Stars' Jimmy Bayan was wondering, where in
L.A. you live?
NN: In the Valley.
KW: The Laz Alonso question: How can your fans help you?
NN: My fans can help me remaining supportive. It's difficult for
African-Americans to stay on television. If you're a fan, you
need to follow that person, support the work they do, send a
letter or an email to let the studios and the industry know that
you're paying attention, and what you want more of.
KW: Where can you're fans contact you?
In Before You Do, best selling author
T.D. Jakes turns his attention and teachings to the
topic of relationships and the issues that need
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and for repositioning yourself for a life without
KW: What is your favorite meal to cook?
NN: I prefer to make reservations at the Oceanaire, my favorite
restaurant of all time. It's on the East Coast. But there's so
much good food in Los Angeles, from fine dining to
hole-in-the-wall places. I'll take any of it, as long as I don't
have to stand over a stove.
KW: The music maven
Heather Covington question: What music are
you listening to nowadays?
NN: I listen to R&B and Gospel. Those are my two favorite
KW: Teri Emerson would like to know, when was the last time you
had a good laugh?
NN: [Laughs] My girlfriend Jamil is not a comedienne, and has
never been on stage, but I promise you that she is by far the
funniest person I have ever met in my life. And I've met every
comedian in Hollywood. There isn't a day that goes by when I
speak to her that I don't literally laugh out loud. So, I feel
blessed to have the opportunity to laugh every day because I
KW: Do you see yourself as an actress first or as a comedienne?
NN: I'd have to say I see myself as a comedienne first. And no
one has ever asked me that question either.
KW: Rudy Lewis question: Who's at the top of your hero list?
NN: The truth.
KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in
NN: That you pursue whatever God has helped you identify as your
destiny, no matter what.
KW: How do you want to be remembered?
NN: I would love to be remembered as being a blessing.
KW: What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
NN: Experiencing personal tragedy. When I was 15, I saw my
mother get shot right in front of me. And then my brother was
murdered the day before my 23rd birthday, Those are the things
that are still pressed against the fabric of my soul every day.
Those personal tragedies change you forever so that you're in a
perpetual state of overcoming.
KW: Now that you've had a little time, can you think of a
question no one has ever asked you?
NN: No one has ever asked me whether I've had an awful
experience working on a project. People just assume that
everything's great because you're on TV or in a movie. But every
day is not always the best day. There's an upside and a downside
to everything, including entertainment. The downside is not only
when you don't get work. What about when you're in a cast with
an actor who's insatiable, with a diva who's over the top with
her foolishness, or working for a director who's ruthless or a
cutthroat? They can wear on you as well.
KW: Thanks again, and best of luck with G-Force and all your