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Getting On’s Niecy Nash: Stripped Down (but Not Entirely)

Getting On’s Niecy Nash: Stripped Down (but Not Entirely)


Same talent, new territory

Photo Credit: Lacey Terrell

The first season of HBO's Getting On opened with two nurses (played by Niecy Nash, right, and Alex Borstein, left) discovering a turd in a chair, then debating the singular form of the word feces while filing paperwork on their find. Such is the absurd, bureaucratic drudgery of the comedy's extended-care unit. Co-starring Laurie Metcalf, the series tackles mortality head-on, and its mix of raunch and tenderness has made it a cult hit. With Getting On entering season 2, we caught up with Nash, whose quiet, compassionate Didi diverges from her past roles.

Out: Were there any scenes from season 2 that stuck out for you?
Niecy Nash: [The writers] actually called for one of our elderly female patients to do a scene naked. I'm in my 40s, and I haven't even been naked on camera. It was a brave moment, and I thought, I don't know why I've been holding back! I called my manager. I was like, "Find my naked role!"

And the cast doesn't wear makeup, right?
It's one thing to be overwhelmed by the workload. But it's another thing to look like a hag. You always feel like the show must go on, especially when you look pretty. But I was struggling. I don't get a beautiful weave? I can't wear a Spank? Nothing?

How do you like playing a role that's so different for you?
Getting On is such a blessing because I wasn't being called to do this type of work [before]. I was always the girl they called when they wanted more -- more hair, more makeup, more boobs, more eyelashes. It was always, "Can you deliver the lines a little sassier?"

I saw that Julia Louis-Dreyfus endorsed your show on Twitter.

That was crazy. There are many people in entertainment who found the show. Gayle King, Oprah's BFF, came up to me and was like, "Oh. My. God. Getting There, Getting Up, Getting With It--it's brilliant." I said, "Getting On?" She didn't have the name right, but she knew the show.

I read that Dr. James [played by Metcalf] is studying anal-genital distances in her patients and in rats.

My character has a question for her character this season. "I just wanna know, have you ever just thought about doing ears? Does it always have to be, you know, some lower region?" She is 100-percent committed, and that part of the anatomy fascinates her. I don't think Jenna James is someone who goes home and has sex--that's why she's so interested in it at the hospital.

Season 2 of Getting On premieres Nov. 9 on HBO. Watch the trailer below:

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