Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nicki Micheaux: The Lincoln Heights Interview

with Kam Williams

Headline: Nicki Hits the Heights

Nicki Micheaux is one actress who always delivers when asked to bring a character to life, actress delivers. As a popular guest star on episodes of many of television’s best dramatic series, she is a talented thespian capable of convincingly displaying a wide range of emotions in a compelling fashion. From the tortured, drug-addicted sister of police officer Keith Charles (Mathew St. Patrick) on “Six Feet Under” to the fearless, undercover detective Trish George on “The Shield,” to the sexy temptress on the acclaimed Showtime series, “Soul Food,” Ms. Micheaux has already compiled a plethora of noteworthy performances on her impressive resume’.

She recently appeared with comedy legend Lily Tomlin in the HBO pilot, “12 Miles of Bad Road,” which was produced by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. And she also co-starred opposite Academy Award-winner Halle Berry in the critically-acclaimed made-for-TV movie, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Among her other television credits are “The West Wing,” “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” “The Practice,” “City of Angels,” and “Desperate Housewives.”

Born in Detroit, the daughter of an Army colonel, Nicki moved around a lot, so she’s resided innumerous cities around the country. She considers Houston her hometown, although she has settled in Los Angeles with her husband and young daughter.

Here, she talks about her current role as Jenn Sutton, an independent and supportive wife and mother on the ABC Family series, “Lincoln Heights.”

KW: Hi Nicki, thanks for the time.

NM: Thanks. It’s my pleasure

KW: What initially interested you in Lincoln Heights?

NM: It was a great concept, great characters and I was really interested in seeing this loving black family trying to make a difference in the community.

KW: What is the main theme of Lincoln Heights?

NM: The notion that loving your family means doing anything to provide the best for them. Community is an extension of family and we cannot separate ourselves from the whole. We are all tied together.

KW: You play a nurse, wife and mother named Jenn Sutton. Tell me a little bit more about your character.

NM: That pretty much sums her up. She’s like a lot of women out there, juggling many balls, trying to do what’s best for her family and herself. The only unusual part is that she’s African-American. Typically black women aren’t so three-dimensional on the screen.

KW: How did you prepare for the role?

NM: Jenn is very close to who I am. So I try to just show up and be as simple as I can.

KW: Russell Hornsby is a wonderful actor who plays your husband. How do you two generate that chemistry?

NM: Oh Russell makes it easy. We’re lucky we all get along so well.

KW: As you enter the third season, are you pleased with the direction of the show?

NM: Yes.

KW: Black couples are rarely shown in a positive light on television or film. Did you have any input as to how your TV marriage should be depicted?

NM: Sure, we have a lot of open collaboration on the series. Everyone on the show agrees that Eddie and Jenn are meant to be kind of a light.

KW: You have played such a diversity of roles in your career. Is there something you have not done that you are interested in pursuing?

NM: Oh Yes! I’m waiting for my historical period piece. Either that or an epic fantasy. I can’t wait for something like that to try out.

KW: How do you feel about the election of Barack Obama?

NM: I am very inspired by the vision he has for our country.

KW: Music maven Heather Covington’s question: What are you listening to nowadays?

NM: Mostly the Backyardigans and Jack Johnson, since I spend most of my time with my daughter.

KW: Is she old enough to understand what it is you do for a living?

NM: Yes, but she thinks everyone is on TV, just like all her Disney friends, Mickey, Minnie, etcetera.

KW: Bookworm Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read? What was the last book you read?

NM: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

KW: Is there a question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

NM: I can’t really think of anything.

KW: When did you know that you wanted to be in showbiz?

NM: Oh I don’t think I really want to be in showbiz. I just like to act, the “biz” part is just something I can’t get away from.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

NM: If you love the craft, stick to it. Try not to compare your path to others b/c each road to success is different.

KW: Where can fans of Lincoln Heights check you out on the web?

NM: I have a MySpace page. ( Also has lots of great info on the show, as well as past episodes.

KW: Do you answer your fan mail?

NM: I love to get to as many as I can.

KW: How do you want to be remembered?

NM: As a wife, a mother, and an artist.

KW: Any new projects on the horizon for you?

NM: I’m starring in the feature RAIN which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year. It’s the first Bahamian feature and we’re so excited about the positive reception the film is getting.

KW: Thanks again for the interview, and best of luck with all your endeavors.

NM: Thank you so much.

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