Niecy Nash has the kind of fun, smart and sassy attitude about life that one would expect from someone who brings life to colorful, no-nonsense characters like Reno 911’s officer Raineesha Williams (see also: recent guest spots on TV like The Mindy Project and her voiceover work on American Dad). Nash possesses a brand of quick-witted honesty you almost never see in an actress, an honesty she brings to bear on her warts-and-all role as overworked, put-upon geriatric nurse Didi Ortley on HBO’s Getting On, which had its second season premiere Nov. 9.
Playboy recently spoke with Nash about a few of these hot topics: the fear of going makeup-free for Getting On; why her sex-and-relationship book, the aptly-titled It’s Hard to Fight Naked should’ve actually been called, Stomach Full, Penis Empty: A Woman’s Guide to a Happy Marriage; and her take on Playboy’s Lucky 7 questions.
Getting On a much more complicated show than you expect, with the dark comedy and whatnot. What has your experience been with fans in their reactions to this role versus others that you’ve done?
Two things I get quite a bit: The first thing is the fact that they’ve never seen me in a role quite like this. A lot of people know me from shows that are a little more broad, a little more over the top you know, the Reno 911’s of the world and so to see me doing something like this is such a departure from anything they’ve seen me do, so they find that very entertaining. Like, “Wow! You’re the same girl from these other crazy shows?” The other thing, I get a lot of people saying that either they care for their elderly parent or grandparent or that they’re nurses. They’re like, “Oh my God, I so need this show. It is exactly how it is, you make it funny but heartwarming at the same time, I laugh, I cry” so those are the compliments I received.
I also love how you have real women on the show who aren’t super glamorous. They’re as realistic as you can get on television.
Initially it’s a little scary and a little jarring. The roles that I [usually] play, it’s “More hair, more makeup, can you put on another pair of lashes?” And you go over to HBO and they’re like, no glamour, no hair and makeup, no Spanx, no nothing. We jokingly say that we’re going to be on the cover of a magazine and it’s going to read, “These brave actresses” because we are just letting it all hang out there. It was funny because you get so used to living in a world where they doll you up as an actor, to then come play a role where you don’t get anything. I find that I have a different appreciation for my face. I haven’t seen my real face in so long!
Switching gears a bit to talk about your relationship book, what’s a good way to approach women you want to date vs. a woman you just want to hook up with?
I feel like, in a perfect world, honesty would be the new monogamy so when you are meeting someone you kind of just put out there what you’re looking for. There is always somebody who wants to do it the way you want to do it, “I don’t want to settle down, I’m just looking to have fun.” Oh okay, show that to five girls at least one of them is going to be like, “Okay, let me give you my number.” As opposed to acting like you want something else just for them to entertain you and then you’re truth being revealed later.
You also recommend oral sex regularly for your partner.
What I say in the book is, “A BJ a day keeps the divorce attorney away” and I say that because I feel like men are profoundly simplistic, which is the reason I wanted to call my book what I used as the title of chapter three, which is, “Stomach Full, Penis Empty: A Woman’s Guide to a Happy Marriage.” Keeping him fed and drained, you have no problem. We are really more complicated than they are and I think that women are more generous with oral sex because we nurture by nature. We want to be pleasing by nature, that’s in our DNA, so I think that a lot of the behavior we’re looking for sexually, you might have to educate your partner. Sometimes, men just assume they’re going to get it and you need to be like, “Give me mine. Ladies first.”
What’s so interesting is that [women are] more willing to have conversations about “Do you want to get married? Where do you see this relationship going? Do you want to have children?” than we are to ask, “What kind of sex do you like? What are you into there?” You know what I mean? And that’s a conversation that a lot of people dive into but if you’re going to be with someone for the rest of your life and they’re failing to meet your sexual needs is like doing a slow dance with death. We need to make sure we can meet right there in the middle. The best thing that could have ever happened to me, and I was so fearful when I did it, was I got my tubes tied and had a hysterectomy. It gives me and my husband a different liberty — we can do what we do anytime, anywhere, at a moment’s notice. So that’s a sidebar into my situation, but I can get the party started.
Playboy Lucky 7 Questions
What was your first encounter with Playboy magazine?
When I was a kid, we moved back home to St. Louis and my uncle used to keep his Playboys behind the bar in the basement. And they always made the kids go play in the basement. “Y'all go downstairs and play.” The first time I ever remember seeing a Playboy was in my uncle’s basement. My first thought was, “All these ladies are naked!” And then my second thought was, “Wait, how come I don’t look like that?” When I was doing Reno 911 I wanted to do Playboy as Raineesha so bad. I still have my Raineesha booty in a temperature-controlled locker. I just thought it would have been funny because we did an episode of Reno where everybody thought I was being interviewed for some major magazine as like this pillar of the community but when you open it up it’s me in a thong pushing my booty back, like “Hey!”
What movie scared you most as a kid?
I’m going to go with The Shining.
Do you have a pop culture blind spot?
I have a lot of blind spots. I don’t watch any reality show that has the word “Real” or “Wife” in it. I just can’t. I’m all pro-sisterhood, I don’t want to watch anything where women are being mean to each other. I just don’t do it.
Heaven forbid, you’re on death row — what’s your last meal?
My last meal would be fried shrimp. Actually a whole plate of Mexican food with all the accouterments. Taquitos, guacamole, the rice, the beans, the margaritas — I don’t know if they let you have margaritas on death row but I would beg for one, and then fried shrimp with coleslaw on the side of that as a last hurrah.
What was your first car?
My mother had a little Mercedes. When she got another car, that became my first car, a hand-me-down. My first new car was a Volkswagen Fox, I got that when I graduated from high school.
What was the first song you knew all the words to?
The first song I knew every word to… let me think. Oh I know it! Sugar Hill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight.” And I still know all the words to it, thank you very much.
What’s your favorite mistake?
When I first met my husband, I said that I didn’t like him because I thought he was too serious. My friend introduced me and I was like, “I don’t like this guy. He’s so serious.” And you know me, I like to have fun and I said, “I don’t like him, I pass.” And then my friend looked over my shoulder and saw him talking to another woman — and he was laughing and holding court, he was the life of the party — and she said, “Who is that bitch talking to your new husband?” And I turned around, “Girl, you’re right! That is my husband, I’ve got to get over there and get my man back.” So my husband always says that it was competition that brought us together and I’m like, “No, it was not competition, it was the fact that I said I only saw one side of you and made the mistake of judging you just for that one side.” And now I kid you not, and I know every comedian in the world, nobody makes me laugh harder than my husband.
Kara Warner is a writer/reporter living in Los Angeles. Likes: Men in kilts, ladies in power suits, the Denver Broncos. Dislikes: Plastic surgery frozen faces on Bravo, losing, zombies.