Danielle Nicolet – Her Time To Join The ‘Wonderful Funny Chicks’ Has Finally Arrived

“Oh, gosh, I never really been anything other than an actor. I always knew it was what I wanted to do,” Danielle Nicolet, who hails from Ashtabula, Ohio, humbly reflects, when queried as to when exactly she remembers first being bitten by the acting bug. She continues to retrace her roots, “When I was a kid, I was a gymnast and we lived in a small town in Ohio and gymnastics kind of led me to Southern California in order to train… And as I got a little bit older and my body decided it didn’t want to keep doing gymnastics with me, I finally confessed to my parents that I wanted to be an actor.  Fortunately, my mom was supportive and I stumbled onto a show called Family Matters [a recurring role in the 3rd season, as Eddie Winslow’s girlfriend, Vonda Mahoney] that (I then) ended up basically being on one show or another ever since.”

Growing up, the young aspiring starlet found her inspiration in comedy, specifically women comediennes. “Yes, there’s still people I look up to and aspire to take after. Um…Especially given what I do. I always looked up to funny women. I looked up to Bette Midler and (the late) Joan Rivers.  And there weren’t a lot of like beautiful African-American women who were funny on TV when I was a kid, so I was kinda always trying to find where, whatever, it is I felt comfortable with; like where I would fit in.  And, I’m having actually quite a time now – it seems like the opportunity – and (the time to) join the group of wonderful funny chicks has finally arrived.”

On her lifelong professional pursuit of both the small and big screens, Nicolet excitedly proclaims, “Oh, the second I took one step out onto my very first sound-stage and said my first line, I knew I was never doing anything else for a living! I didn’t care how hard I had to fight, I didn’t care what obstacles got in my way, I knew I was gonna do it. I knew I was born for it.”

“I kinda grew up on a show called 3rd Rock from the Sun [as Caryn, a character she would reprise from 1996 through 2001],” the gorgeous Sagittarius recalls. “And since then, I was, gosh, I’m trying to think…I starred on a series with Debra Messing and Judy Davis, The Starter Wife.  I did a series on TNT called Heartland, which was a really lovely hospital drama that ran for a couple of seasons.  And most recently, I did an ABC series – that was on Wednesday nights at eight o’clock – called Family Tools. After Family Tools ended, I went on to a show called The Game [9 episodes playing Yana], which was on BET.  And I left The Game to come do our show, Born Again Virgin. And in the meantime right now, I’ve been shooting this movie that I just wrapped a couple of days ago called Central Intelligence.”

On acting in a television show versus that of a major motion picture, Danielle believes wholeheartedly, “You know, they certainly go hand in hand. Most people usually say, ‘Oh, movies are the preference for me.’ I’m a TV watcher; I love TV, I grew up watching TV, and I’m just as addicted to it now as I was as a kid. And, it’s kind of neat that I’m on TV and that I get to be a part of that experience for people. So I can’t say I have a big preference (for) one or the other, but I do really appreciate TV, I think in a way that a lot of people don’t.”

Born Again Virgin, which is set in Atlanta, Georgia, premiered on TV One August 5, 2015. Danielle stars as the lead character, Jenna, alongside co-stars Eva Marcille [Tara] and Meagan Holder [Kelly], who play her best friends, and Durrell ‘Tank’ Babbs [Donovan], who portrays her neighbor/love interest. “Well, the premise of the show is a woman who has realized she’s successful in a lot of areas in her life, but relationships are not one of them,” she happily describes of her newly popular comedy-drama series. “She’s decided to take a step back to eliminate sex from the equation, and she is maybe not sleeping with men that she meets (and that) helps her develop deeper more meaningful relationships.  And, she decides to quit her job as a writer at a magazine and blog about her journey. Of course, that plan all goes to hell when the man of her dreams moves in across the hall.”

So then, are there any parallels between Danielle Nicolet and that of her character, Jenna? Danielle briefly pauses, and then reveals, “There are similarities to the standpoint of I certainly went through a phase in my life of celibacy when I realized that I was attracting less than fantastic men. And, I went through a bad break up and I had decided that, ‘You know what? Maybe it’s me!’ Maybe I gotta figure out what’s going on with me that I think these jerks are okay, and taking a little time off to think, ‘Let me get to know myself better and let me get more clear on what I want.’ And, what I was actually putting out there and offering to the world.  And interestingly enough, a little celibacy period and I met my husband not long thereafter; who happens to be a completely fantastic human being.”

On Born Again Virgin‘s great ensemble cast, Nicolet gushes with a great big grin on her pretty face, “The dynamic is terrific! We have so much fun. Honest to God, the dynamic that you see on the screen is because that’s how we all are with each other all the time in real life. We fool around with each other, we crack jokes on each other, we play practical jokes.  Eva and I are both as klutzy as our characters seem on TV.  And, yeah, I think our personal connections to one another really translates. And, I think it’s one of the big factors that makes the show work and makes it good. I think people can really see the truths of our relationships with one another.”

“It was for sure a leap of faith, mostly because TV One had not really done a significant amount of scripted programming,” Danielle makes clear of having a brief moment of hesitation before signing onto Born Again Virgin. Expounding, she further clarifies, “I was coming off of a network show that I thought was smart and clever, and I wanted to stick with something in that same vein. So, that part was scary, however, the script was so good. And, Alyson Fouse and Ranada Shepard, who are the creator and the show runner, they’re so good at what they do and the script was so terrific, that I thought, ‘I’m crazy if I pass up this opportunity!’ You know, sometimes in life you have a real opportunity for greatness in front of you and I realized that this was an opportunity for greatness.”

Actress Danielle Nicolet

On simultaneously juggling both a hectic television and demanding film schedule, she laughs sounding a bit maniacal, “I haven’t slept in three months! It’s crazy, but it’s great. Yeah, I’ve been shooting Central Intelligence, which is a really terrific movie. It’s an action comedy, with The Rock and Kevin Hart and Amy Ryan and Jason Bateman. I’ve been shooting that for the last three months in Boston and we shoot Born Again Virgin in Atlanta, so I’ve been flying back and forth (on) those two projects.  They’ve been so wonderful (and) schedule each other around me in order to make sure that I didn’t have to give up either (of those) fantastic jobs, so I actually just wrapped the movie a couple of days ago.”

“I cried when it ended. I really…I cried when it wrapped. I had such a fantastic experience. I love those boys so very much, and they’re so funny and professional and awesome and kind, and I hope that people enjoy that movie as much as we all enjoyed making it,” Nicolet proudly mentions of the bittersweet conclusion of what sounds to be the makings of a future box office blockbuster. Central Intelligence is slated to hit theaters in Summer 2016

“Well, I write as well and so I do,” She relays, when asked as to whether or not she has other outside aspirations, “It’s hard finding time right now, but I do have other aspirations. I have aspirations to write – and write television in particular – and I’m hoping that some of the things I’ve got going on…I’ve had a couple of script options; I’m hoping they get made. And on a personal level, I really enjoy traveling and seeing the world and doing charitable work wherever I go.  So, that’s my other big plan after we wrap up this first season on the show. I plan to write and plan to do a little traveling.”

To date, what has been the highlight of what’s shaping up to be a staggering career in Hollywood, at least thus far anyway, she confesses beaming with a huge amount of pride, “About three months ago on the set of Central Intelligence, I actually broke Kevin Hart! I made him laugh in the middle of a take, and I think that was one of the highlights of my life, that I broke Kevin Hart.”

In closing, and with her eyes clearly set on the prize, Danielle looks towards the future and professes, “10 years down the line, gosh, I hope and pray that we are wrapping up season 10 of Born Again Virgin, and I hope that I will have more of an opportunity to write and produce in the business. And, I have to say, life is so dang good right now that I just continue to hope to be as grateful and happy and blessed as I am at this moment. If 10 years from now I have even 10% of the blessings I have right now, I will be the happiest girl in the world.”

Photo Credit Kyle Christy |TV One


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Todd Davis

Veteran music journalist and indie publicist Todd Davis, who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has contributed to a variety of national, regional, online, weekly and daily media outlets; including The Source, XXL & Billboard, to name a few, is happy to report that he has recently joined the Parlé Magazine family. Looking forward to many great things to come...

Todd Davis has 105 posts and counting. See all posts by Todd Davis

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