Actress Nicki Micheaux and star of TNT‘s new hit drama Animal Kingdom takes time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us here at The Hype Magazine. She discusses a variety of different topics, which include, but not limited to her character Detective Sandra Yates, Recent events involving law enforcement, upcoming scenes with the Legendary Ellen Barkin and more. Make sure you check out the interview below and if you missed any episodes this season head over to TNT on demand.
The Hype Magazine: On Animal Kingdom Detective Sandra Yates is hardcore, how does she compare to some of the strong women you’ve played in the past like Jen on Lincoln Heights or Trish from The Shield?
Nicki Micheaux: Oh she’s definitely hardcore. She’s really not like any of them because she’s motivated by something very deep & secret, and we don’t know what that is yet. Trish was a badass but her desire was just to be a good cop, although she was a bit edgy. Yates is on a mission like none other. And of course, Jenn is a total sweetheart. It’s funny to think that I played all these people. I think each character is a fun exploration into people.
The Hype Magazine: How did you find your way into the Detective Sandra Yates character?
Nicki Micheaux: For Yates, it was all about the loss. What would you do if someone had taken something very special from you? How far would you go? I didn’t judge her. I only followed her truth and her motivations. Which is funny because it made her come off as hardcore, but that wasn’t my intent. I’d say she’s just focused and doesn’t have any time for bullshit.
The Hype Magazine: Do you have any upcoming scenes with the Legendary Ellen Barkin and have you been able to pick up any useful tips from her or other cast members while you’ve been on set?
Nicki Micheaux: You always learn from everybody. Yates and Smurf finally meet in the season finale.
The Hype Magazine: What has it been like to come in as a recurring guest star on a hit show? Are you connecting with the cast?
Well, it’s not really any different. It just depends on who you are working within the scenes. Everyone is working at the top of their game and very welcoming. You’re just a part of the family.
The Hype Magazine: Now that we are almost to at the end of the first season of Animal Kingdom, do you know what Detective Yates will be up to in season two?
Nicki Micheaux: Not a clue! Can’t wait to find out, though.
The Hype Magazine: What is your favorite scene from the show?
Nicki Micheaux: I like the scenes where I’m interrogating J. They were really fun to shoot.
The Hype Magazine: You’re such a versatile actress. You recently finished starring in an indie feature. How does it feel to have a director create a specific role for you to star in?
Nicki Micheaux: That was LowLife. It’s one of the greatest honors to have someone write something for you. We have another project coming up as well that I can’t wait to do. I think Low Life is a very wacky crazy dark and twisty movie. The best part about working with Ryan Prows again is the deep trust we have for each other’s creative choices. I don’t think I’d have done Low Life with another director – trust is a huge thing. And I’m so grateful that he trusts me too.
The Hype Magazine: The past few years you’ve been the voice of Well Fargo, how did you get into voice over work and how’s it been working with such a recognizable global brand?
Nicki Micheaux: This was just another audition and I have been blessed to work with them. I love everybody at Wells Fargo. It’s like being a part of a family and I love the way our messages are looking out for the everyday person. It’s the same feeling you get when you walk into a branch. I initially got into voice over work because my agent thought I had a great voice. She told me many years ago that I had the voice of a sponsor. And so…here we are.
The Hype Magazine: Being that you play a detective on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom”, what are your thoughts on some of the recent events involving law enforcement?
Nicki Micheaux: Well…TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” is a gritty show about bad people. So playing her focuses on the darker side of humanity. I think it’s funny that all the criminals are white and the cops are black. No one has really mentioned that one. haha. But we all have to remember cops are people too. Only by working together with open dialogue can we work through some of the systemic problems we are facing. So to be playing one now in this age is a great opportunity to remind everyone cops are not just ONE thing. We have every race, color, sex who serve on the police force. Demonizing one side or the other will not help us to move forward.
The Hype Magazine: Actors and athletes are becoming more political these days. What are your thoughts on the upcoming presidential elections?
Nicki Micheaux: Everyone must get out and vote to stop Trump. The threat is real. Our lives matter. Our votes count.