They say you should never tear down someone who is winning, because you don't know what it took for them to get there. Niecy Nash is a perfect example of that mantra.
The 47-year-old has been in the business for years — first gaining notoriety in her Style Network show Clean House that ran from 2004 to 2011. But run through her resume and you'll see consistent years of work, oftentimes acting in more than one project at simultaneously. She's now starring as the lead in TNT's hit show, Claws that was recently renewed for a second season.
Undoubtedly, Nash works hard but she's also endured a lot of tragedy.
“If you look at my track record, ‘She saw her mother get shot. She buried her only brother. She went through a horrible divorce. She lost her church.’ And to look at [my life], in many ways that does feel like a Cinderella story,” Nash told ESSENCE for her September 2017 cover story.
Similar to her Claws character Desna Simms, she's motherly but not matronly— cinching a waist and throwing on a heel at the drop of a hat. Don't get it twisted though, if she has to switch up into other roles, she's ready and willing to do so.
“For a long time, the industry was polite, but they were like, ‘Dear, you have a lane. You do broad comedy. Stay over there,'" she said. "I had to be a lady in waiting and bide my time until they started to recognize. My first time doing dramatic work garnered me back-to-back Emmy nominations...You've got to figure out how to get your do-over."
Pick up the latest issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands Friday, September 18.