Niecy Nash leans in for a life of crime — and fabulous nails — on ‘Claws’


Not every role leaves an actor with the kind of skill set that could be used in a state of emergency. But Niecy Nash just wants you to know that if the nail industry, for some oddball reason, were to collapse, the world is in good, manicured hands with the women of TNT’s “Claws.”

“We got you,” Nash said during a recent a visit to the LA Times video studio. “My expertise is acrylics and eyebrow threading.”

For Nash, the self-care aptitude is just one of the perks of playing Desna, a South Florida nail salon owner caught up in a life of crime when her business is used to launder money from drug deals. But Nash, who received Emmy nominations in 2015 and 2016 for her role as nurse Didi Ortley in HBO’s “Getting On,” is far more interested in being part of an ensemble featuring a diverse group of women of a “certain age” — Nash adds the air quotes — who can go toe to toe with the bad guys.


“I thought this is absolutely delicious,” Nash said. “I love the fact that most of the women on this cast were on the south-side of 40. I love the fact that they were doing things that are typically reserved for men — the life of crime, the laundering money, the illegal drugs, murder… I love the fact that I have this ragtag band of manicurists and we’re going to get this done. They’re all badass in their own way. I leaned all the way into it.”

After spending much of Season 1 trying to extract herself from the crime life, Desna finds herself fully embracing it when the series returns June 10 for its second season.

“I think Season 2, she’s just leaning in,” Nash said. “It’s like, if this is my lot in life, let me stop trying to act like I’m not as good at this as I know I am. And if I’m going to be in it, I’m going to be mixed all the way up to the top.”

But is the drama turned up on the nails?

“In the first episode, I have burgundy nails, but one of them has a mink puff, a burgundy mink puff dangling from the nails,” Nash said. “We went all out.”

For the full conversation, check out the video below:

Twitter: @villarrealy