Nurse, security guard, beauty salon owner. Niecy Nash plays them all these days, on HBO’s Getting On (Sundays, 11 p.m.), Fox’s Scream Queens (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) and TVLand’s The Soul Man (which returns for its fifth and final season in spring 2016). Let’s see how the 45-year-old actress/comedian handles one more job: quiz-taker.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were a longtime host of the Style Network’s Clean House. What is the scariest, most disorganized space in your home?
NIECY NASH: My makeup drawer is a wreck. I really try to keep it together but what happens is that I’m such a girl’s girl and I love product, so there’s always another pair of eyelashes, an eyeliner, a mascara, some sort of new cream.
On Reno 911!, your Deputy Williams exploited her police power. What was your most recent exploitation of celebrity power?
We did go to a restaurant in Louisiana and friends went up to the front because there was a long line and said, “I have Niecy Nash outside, there is a big crowd, she’s going to have to start taking pictures. Is there any way we can just come in?” I didn’t have mixed feelings about it. My feet were hurting and I was hungry.
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You play nurse Didi Ortley on Getting On. Choose a TV nurse that you’d want to take care of you:
• Hot Lips Houlihan from M*A*S*H
• Carol Hathaway from ER
• Jackie Peyton from Nurse Jackie
• Morgan Tookers from The Mindy Project
Hot Lips Houlihan. (A), because she’s hot. And (B) because being hot goes a long way. And whatever is wrong with me, I might get distracted because she’s so freakin’ cute.
Voice you’d want on your car’s GPS device:
A toss-up between Barack Obama and Mindy Kaling. I would trust Barack. And although I probably wouldn’t trust Mindy — because sometimes you get the wrong instructions from your GPS — I just feel like she would be my friend in my head. Like, “Girl, are you sure?” I would probably talk back to the GPS if it was Mindy and trust everything it said if it was Barack.
You star as private security guard Denise Hemphill on Scream Queens. What makes you shriek in real life?
Mice or rats. I used to watch those TV shows where they give you a challenge and you have to lie in a glass box and let rats run all over you — I can’t even look at it. I would be that ‘50s housewife standing on the chair, screaming and holding my apron.
Your character is obsessed with Arby’s. In real life, what fast food are you obsessed with?
Is Starbucks considered fast food? Because if it is, that would be it. I’m obsessed with Starbucks for many reasons. First of all, I think it’s insane that people spend five bucks for a cup of coffee yet I get in the line every time. I think that this is crazy, but then I love the fact that the baristas pride themselves on making your order right but getting your name wrong. So every time I go into a Starbucks they’re like, “Name, please,” and I’m like, “Beyoncé!” “Name, please.” “Gwen Stefani. Can you please call my first and last name just in case?”
Choose a Nash:
• Graham Nash, musician
• Ogden Nash, poet
• Steve Nash, basketball player
• Nash Bridges, San Francisco cop
Steve Nash. He’s amazing. My son was such a Lakers fan for a long time. If Steve Nash and I were the same color, I would have told people we were related. But [even though] we’re not, I’m still a fan. We are from Los Angeles so we ride out with the Lakers, period.
On The Soul Man, you’re the beauty salon owner wife of a reverend. What is your most misguided beauty salon experience?
I tried to be a beautician in college to help pay my way through school, and I was unlicensed. I was giving this lady extensions and I accidentally cut a big chunk of her hair out. I just tried to hurry up and put some hair on top of it so she wouldn’t notice. But I knew what I did. I was sweating bullets. I don’t know if she ever figured it out because I never answered her phone calls again. I was too embarrassed.
Your first TV role was on the orphan drama Party of Five. Since housing is so expensive in the Bay Area, if you could only afford shelter for one of the orphans, which would you choose:
Which one was Hewitt? Wasn’t Jennifer Love Hewitt in that? That’s who I want. [Editor’s note: Hewitt played Sarah.] I pick her because she’s adorable. I just feel like we would be friends in real life, so I’m like, if somebody’s got to lay down on my couch, I’d rather it be somebody who I think I like.
Last time you used a coupon:
I just went to CVS. They give you all of these coupons, and you never use them. You just end up throwing it in the trash or you get to the store and you’re like, “Damn I remember I had that thing at home!” But I made a point: “I’m going to spend this.” It was an $8 coupon! It was just, like, bucks! I spent my $8 on makeup. Come on — we going back to the first question!