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The actress opens up about getting back to work and connecting with her character Tamara.
Showtime’s hit series House of Lies has earned much attention since it debuted in 2012. Now in its second season, the clever comedy about an over-the-top consultant, played by Best Comedy Actor Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle, continues to up the ante with guest stars. Nia Long is among the selected actors to appear on the series this season and we hear her upcoming episode may raise some eyebrows.
ESSENCE.com caught up with the actress to get the details on her character Tamara, what it was like getting back to work and what she loves most about Don Cheadle.
ESSENCE.com: How have you been able to connect with your character Tamara in House of Lies?
NIA LONG: The very first time you meet her, she talks about how she’s been out of the game raising children. She’s a wife. And coming back into the game she wants to have some sort of integrity for herself. When you look at the characters on House of Lies, they are all very twisted. They are not what they seem. They’re back stabbing. They’re just ugly people, not nice people. They go for theirs. It’s a cut-throat industry. I think Tamara’s approach to things isn’t that way. She has a different way of getting what she wants. You’ll be surprised to see how the storyline ends.
ESSENCE.com: Did you see a lot of yourself in this character?
LONG: Absolutely! Life imitating art. Art imitating life. This is my first job back. Honestly, the first day back on set it felt so foreign to me. Because it had been almost two years since I worked. It seemed like longer.
ESSENCE.com: What was it like working with Don Cheadle, who plays Marty?
LONG: AH-MAZ-ING! He is probably my new favorite person right now. At first I was so intimidated and nervous and I never get that way. I don’t know what it was about him. I don’t know what it was that made me feel that way. I think it was me coming on to a show that’s already established. I’ve seen almost everything he’s done. I’ve always wanted to work with him. I really like him because he stays under the radar and does great work. He doesn’t care about the fanfare or the fame. What you get from him is a really authentic person who wants everyone to be great. He always has an angle or idea that ups the stakes. I think he keeps the audience on their toes.
ESSENCE.com: In Sunday night’s episode you two have this romantic chemistry, right?
LONG: I’m not going to say if there is romantic chemistry. But I will say there is a scene in his bathroom. And usually a bathroom scene suggests the next morning. But I’m not getting into all of that!
ESSENCE.com: And you’re kind of known for bathroom scenes—like in Soul Food with Mekhi Phifer!
LONG: (Laughing) I will say I am, aren’t I! I just thought about that!
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