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Waffling With LOWLIFE Star Nicki Micheaux

nicki micheaux
We chat with actress Nicki Micheaux, star of the horror festival hit Lowlife.







Interview by Eric Hillis

nicki micheaux

Hi Nicki, tell us where it all began for you as an actor.

I'd have to say it all began in college when I was studying for a pre-med degree. I decided to take an acting class as an easy "A". I had auditioned for plays before in high school, but I was always so nervous, the best I could do was stand in the back. I never thought I would have the courage to actually be an actor and say lines on stage.  I was just so crazy shy.



In 2002 you had spells on Six Feet Under and The Shield. Both are now considered among the shows that kicked off what's come to be known as 'The Golden Age of TV'. At the time did they feel different to other shows you had previously worked on? Did you get a sense that TV was changing?

I have to say that from the moment I walked on the set of Six Feet Under and The Shield I just knew I was involved in something pretty special. The scripts were amazing, the cast was amazing and then the response from the audience was phenomenal. We had the opportunity to do some really crazy, great, amazing work. It's some of the most creative times on TV that I have had.  It was a special time. Everyone I worked with from there, we still look back really fondly on those days. It's like being an alumni of a really cool class. I think there's still quite a bit of great TV like that out there right now. I look forward to joining the next great project.



You were nominated twice for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for your role in Lincoln Heights. That show now seems quite ahead of its time. Do you think it would find a bigger audience if it debuted today?

I definitely think that Lincoln Heights was ahead of its time. No one can say for sure if it would get a bigger audience today, but based on the fact that people still talk about the show seven to eight years after it's been over, I think says a lot about the power of the show. Certainly we got a chance to talk about issues pretty far in advance of where we were at the time.



You've often been cast as detectives throughout your career. Why do you think this is?

Ha ha, that's funny. I think I've been cast as a detective a lot because I'm tall. But I can't really say. I could venture out to say there's not enough, you know, exciting roles for women, but... I think I have a commanding voice and a commanding presence and so it's very easy to see me, you know, kind of being a detective. Or it could just be because I really like those roles and I really like cop shows. I love watching murder mysteries and thrillers. I always want to be the one to crack the case. Perhaps secretly, I want to be a detective or even work for the FBI.



Your latest film, Lowlife, in which you play the lead, recently premiered at Frightfest. What can you tells us about the movie and your character?

In Lowlife I play Crystal, a recovering addict who has sold her daughter into a very bad situation. Then one day she realises it and she's got to figure out how to get her out. She's a quiet character who has to dig deep to find the courage to make up for some of the mistakes she's made in her life. But in order for her to do that she has to team up with some pretty shady interesting lowlife characters. And that's where the film really takes off and just is one crazy wild ride.



Though the quality of the parts may vary, the horror genre seems to offer more roles for women and minorities than mainstream cinema does. Why do you think this is?

I'm not really sure that horror offers more roles for women than other genres. I do know that people's reactions to Lowlife, particularly the reaction from women, has been an excitement that there are two very strong female characters in this movie, that the women are diverse, and also that they're not just there to be objectified. These are real women that I think any woman could relate to. Of course that's assuming you can relate to some of the dark addictive things that we talk about. (That's a joke!)



What are you currently working on?

Right now I'm currently working on getting my next project off the ground. As an actor your job is to go out in the audition and deliver the best work you can. So that's what I do. Day in and day out.



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