It’s safe to say Niecy Nash-Betts is legendary in Hollywood for her wit, beauty and trajectory in the film and tv industry for the past 3 decades. From working on her first project in the early 90s to winning two Emmy’s – the best part is, she’s just getting started. Preparing for her darkest role yet, Niecy took time to chat with us about what it means to be “Proud 2 Be”, her career, motherhood and of course her better half.  


This year you won your second Emmy for your role as Glenda in the limited series “Dahmer- Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story”. How did it feel to accomplish this amazing achievement? What was the inspiration behind your winning speech?  

Well, of course it feels wonderful to receive accolades for your work, that’s always a good thing. Oftentimes I have been called to play roles with a very comical note. From my time on Reno 911! Or playing Cedric the Entertainer’s wife in a comedy, so being knowledgeable for a different tone of work is super special to me.  

When it comes to my speech, I had no idea it was going to go viral! I didn’t know it would inspire a couple of songs being written, my better half has a new song coming out soon along with a song with Meghan Trainor. I didn’t see that coming either!  

But I guess what I said resonated with a lot of people, a lot of times we’re told to be humble, play it small, not to have too much pride and that just is not how I was feeling.  

I very much wanted to thank myself because if anyone knew how much it cost me to get up on that stage it was me. It was for the things that the public doesn’t see. When you have to pull up and still be there for your friends and family even though you have your own things going on, leading a cast and crew while working – that’s why they say the show must go on honey!  

There were many days where I was the show. And I guess people felt it and I’m glad they did.  

You were the star on the tv series “Claws” which was not only known for the amazing nails but also for its fashion, humor and overall casting. Take us back to your time on this show and talk about what you loved most about being on this show.  

Well two things happened with this particular job, it was my first time directing and I loved being able to do that, I think I was built for it. I love telling people what to do! I was able to get my feet wet in that part of the industry. Secondly, it was the first time I met my best friend turned spouse face to face. The first time Jessica and I saw each other while working together on this series. She became one of my dearest friends. I didn’t see the love part coming, I loved her as a person, but I didn’t see what the rest of my life would entail at the time. So those are some of my most precious memories from this show.  

What was Jessica’s role on “Claws”?  

She came a couple of times to set. One time she came as a wedding singer who was supposed to have a relationship with one of the girls on the show, the episodes were too long so her scenes didn’t make it. Then she came back as a character who helped us launder our drug money. We also used her music to score things on the show.

It was recently announced that you’re going to be a part of Ryan Murphy’s new series “Grotesquerie”. Without sharing too much, what can you tell us about this project and your character?   

I can tell you that it’s very dark, I’ve never played a character like this before. She is very troubled and has a lot of problems- but she’s a big deal detective in a small town. Courtney Vance plays my husband and Raven Goodwin is my daughter.  

We even have America’s Beloved Travis Kelsey in the mix now. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised to see his role in all of this. If you’re a fan of horror or Ryan Murphy, pull up cause it’s something to see.

How did you prepare for this role?  

I went online and researched people who have dealt with substance abuse over the years since that’s some of what she deals with. I wanted to understand their points of views, journeys, mannerisms during the height of their disease, then I leaned in on how Ryan wants it to come across. So, I’m really excited for people to see it.  

How has it been working on Fox’s “Don’t Forget The Lyrics”? What have you enjoyed most about this project and what can viewers look forward to this season?  

 First of all, it’s my mom’s absolute favorite show of mine. Anytime your mother is jumping up and down and watching the episodes over and over, you know you wanna make mama happy and proud.  

The first two seasons of the show, Jessica was in my band. It was so much fun- it was like bring your spouse to work day. We had a good time. A lot of people don’t know this, but we do the show overseas. We film it in Ireland so it’s always a good time when we travel overseas.  

“Don’t Forget The Lyrics” is so fun because you can watch it with your family and you’re rooting for people. After this pandemic, I wish I could have backed the truck up to give money away. I feel like lots of people have been through so much and if you can make money from what we all do (sing songs) in the car and shower, do it on a tv show and win money! I love that about the show.  

What are some things you and Jessica were doing while you were filming in Ireland?  

Listen I’m going to keep it a buck – shopping and eating, ok? We found a great seafood place out there called “Soul” and they had these amazing crab claws! We will eat crab anywhere and anytime, drank great wines, trying local things and enjoying shopping without taxes!  

If you could create your dream tv show, what would it look like?  

Oh wow my dream show, let me tell you something, I appreciate that people now recognize I’m not a one trick pony, that I’m not just a comedian. But I have so much fun making people laugh. So, it would probably be a comedy of sorts. I love being glamorous, so it will include that, and my spouse would be in the mix.  

What dream cast member would you like to have on this show?  

Ooh, that’s a good question. Let me tell you something, on the series that I had with Cedric the Entertainer my best friend Sherri Shepherd came for a season and guest starred, and when I tell you we had a time, on and off camera. I was like sisterhood 2.0, so I’d love the opportunity to work with my friend again.  

Did you ever feel like you had to “come out the closet?”  

Well, I guess the short answer is, I’ve never been in the closet to have to come out of. I loved who I loved until I didn’t. When I fell in love with Jessica the first thing I did was tell my friends and family. I wanted them to know that I’m happy. Some of them were surprised and some of them were like “I’m not surprised at all, you’re a lover”. The world didn’t know until we were married, but my fab 5 knew when we started dating.  

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a part of the LGBTQ+ community?  

I guess what I’ve learned about myself is that I don’t love in fear. I don’t have to take on the burden of shame. I don’t have to take on the burden of what are people going to say about me?  

I’ve also learned that gender is not the point. The point is finding your soulmate and connection. Finding your person, whoever he or she is.  

I’ve also learned that a lot of people are really consumed about what other people are doing behind a closed door, even when it doesn’t affect them. That’s like really strange to me! You may have strangers coming to your page, people you’ve never seen a day in your life, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do in your own life. So, it’s like wow, I’ve never done that to anyone!  

What advice do you have for anyone who struggles with exploring their sexuality, regardless of their age?  

It’s much easier to live in your truth than to live a lie. You want to be the author of your own story and be your own narrator. Your tribe and community will always find you. Sometimes fear makes it hard for people, but you can’t betray yourself in the hopes that someone won’t betray you. Trust that the most high will meet you there.  

When did you know your wife was the person you wanted to spend your life with?  

It was probably when it felt like we were dating for like 10 minutes, and I was like yep, this is my person. It didn’t take that long because I feel like when there is a soul tie and your bond is established in the spirit realm, it hits very differently.

So who proposed to who first?  

We kinda proposed to each other. We had two friends over during the pandemic after being COVID tested, Colman Domingo and his husband Raul. After they left, I’m not sure what happened but I had made Jessica upset, and she was like, “Man you get on my nerves sometimes, but if anybody is going to get on my nerves, I want it to be you. Marry me.” 

I was like what? So, she gave me the ring and I said, “Whatever man, I’ll marry you”. Then she asked what happens now, I started talking about picking a day and the details of getting married and she’s like, well do I get a ring? I said yeah at the ceremony, that’s the traditional way.  

She reminded me that we aren’t traditional people and I’m like you’re right, and I went upstairs to grab my ring that she didn’t even know I had. I knew that was my person, so I wanted to be prepared, I’m not a last-minute person, so when I asked her, we skinny dipped and had a great night. We got married on August 29th – Michael Jackson’s birthday.  

As you and Jessica prepare for your 4-year wedding anniversary, do you two have anything special planned?  

Let me tell you something, we are travel buds, so we definitely will be somewhere on an island and boat, living our best anniversary lives.  

You’ve spoken about your love for vacationing, what are your favorite places to travel to?   

I don’t know if we have one favorite, but we are definitely warm climate people. In the time we’ve been together we’ve been to a lot of places and not many of them have a colder climate.  

Being married before, what did you learn from your previous marriages that has made your current partnership last so long? 

I learned the difference between companionship and partnership. A companion pretty much goes along with whatever you want to do while a partner is someone who brings fresh ideas, someone you can build a life and grow with. That was very important to me with my current union.

I learned the difference between being long-suffering and suffering long. Long-suffering is putting in the work, doing what you need to do while suffering long means staying well beyond the expiration date of your relationship. Standing in the spirit realm waiting for something to happen that’s not going to happen.  

Not only are you an actress and wife, but you’re also a mother to 3 beautiful children. How have you balanced motherhood while having a thriving career? 

It was harder when they were younger. My mother moved into my guest house so she could take care of them while I was away working. It’s a hard balance because on one hand you’re showing them what hard work looks like, on the other hand all they want is for you to be there.  

Eventually I let my work and family collide when we did the reality show a few years ago called “Leave It to Niecy” on TLC, I’ve always told them since they’re all in the industry that I can advise you, but I won’t be their manager. I want them to learn the industry for themselves. If I’m giving you everything, when I’m dead and gone, you won’t know how to get it. You’ll be looking for someone to give it to you instead of earning it yourself.  

How will you and Jessica be celebrating pride this month?   

Girl, we dropped a song that we wrote together! I’m also featured on it, and it’s called “Pride”. Jessica’s already performing at lots of Pride events like “Outloud” and performing it live, so we’ve just been running around performing the new song, which has been so much fun!  

We have another new song that’s inspired from my Emmy speech so since it’s also Black Music Month, I’ve been supporting a lot of Jessica’s things. It’s called “Winner Baby”, and I heard it for the first time at my previous birthday party. I walked in and heard my voice, and I was like, “Woah, what is going on here?”.  

One of my birthday presents from Jessica was her turning my Emmy speech into a song. That was how our newest song came about. I love the song so much and I’m excited for everyone to hear what we came up with.  

Everyone knows you for having the perfect hourglass shape. Do you have a current fitness routine to keep you in shape?  

Oh my goodness girl, what is this you speak of?! Honestly, it gets harder by the day, and I mean it. First of all, I love food so that’s what makes it hard. All my friends love it too, so I don’t have a good support system lol! My body does go up and down, it just depends because when I play a character who’s not as fit, I eat and have a good time.  

But if I’m playing someone and I feel like they need to be thinner or more toned, then I will work out in the pool, get a trainer, you know what I mean? Jessica and I will go boxing together, so I can snatch it back up and shut that mouth as needed. JB isn’t a help because she prefers me with more weight. When I show her pictures from when I’m more toned and she’ll be like, nope!  

 What was it like being a video vixen in Meghan Trainor’s newest video for her song “I Wanna Thank Me”?   

It was really interesting because Meghan reached out and told me how she is a big fan and how she wanted to create something based on my Emmy speech and she sang it to me. I ended up loving her record so JB, my youngest daughter and I went over to her home, and I got to sing on the record! So that’s where “I wanna thank me” came about.  

So, when she was doing the record “To the moon”, she asked if I could come and be in it. So that’s how I started my career as a video vixen with Meghan!  

What’s your current beauty regiment?  

Because I’m currently working on a tv show and we have to be in glam every day, so for me the most important part is what you’re doing when you take it all off. So, a lot of my beauty routine I do it myself. Then I have a girlfriend named Christina, who is an esthetician and has a spa called “AMORE by ChrisAmore Skin”, she’s probably the only person who I’d let touch my face. I’ve never liked people touching me that I don’t know. Maybe it’s an energy thing but I just don’t like it.  

There’s also a great dermatologist that I go to in LA called “DermKing Institute” and I see Dr. Landon McCarroll, no matter where I’m at in LA, if there are any issues with my skin, because we are such good friends he will always pull up on me on set with whatever I need.  

What do you have planned for the rest of 2024 that you can share with Galore readers?   

I have a production company so I’m working on bringing content that I’m not starring in from television and feature films!  


Editor in Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudio)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Cover Art Design: Sebastián Chicchón (@jager.noon)

Photographer: Robert Ector (@robertector)

Wardrobe: Ashley Thomas (@ashleyseanthomas)

Hairstylist: Ray Christopher (@hair4kicks)

Makeup Artist: Mila J. (@makeupbymila)

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