With the third-season of MTV’s critically-acclaimed dram-com Awkward in full swing we decided it was high-time we got to know its lovely Southern star, Nikki DeLoach.
This Georgia gal hails from the small town of Blackshear and got her show biz start at age 12 on the Mickey Mouse Club, alongside the likes of Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling (lucky girl!) and Britney Spears. She currently plays Lacey Hamilton, the well-meaning but hopelessly clueless and flamboyantly dressed mother, on the smash-hit Awkward.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Nikki about the show and her Southern roots. Here’s what she had to say:
What’s the best part of being on Awkward?
I have never had more fun playing a character as I’m having with Lacey. She’s so different from me. I am a boots and jeans girl and she is an over-the-top Orange County housewife. It’s also very rare that you get on a well-done show with great writing and you also love your cast members and crew on such a personal level. It’s magical combination.
And the worst?
Squeezing into Lacey’s tight, tight jeans. Every. Single. Day. The body-hugging wardrobe helps me get into the character, but sometimes I look at the other female cast members’ looser-fitting clothes with envy—especially after lunch!
How do you stay connected to your Southern roots living in Los Angeles?
I grew up on a farm in south Georgia, where I’d spend all day outside riding four wheelers and getting lost in the woods. For the longest time I struggled to find a spot out here that felt a little bit like home. But then my husband and I came upon the equestrian area of Burbank, just over the hill from Hollywood. There are horses everywhere and people riding up and down the street. It’s a safe, quiet, close-knit area with lots of green space–the closest thing to the South I could find.
What’s your perfect day in the South?
Honestly, it doesn’t take much to make me happy in the South. I’d spend the day in my hometown and start with a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit at Jerry J’s Country Cafe, the local place everyone goes for breakfast. Then I’d head to my sister’s house and pick-up my nieces for shopping in Waycross, the town next door. By the end of the day I’d meet up with my mom, dad, brother, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins for a bonfire and oyster roast at The Thompson Cabin, the homestead located on our family property and named for my Grandfather Thompson.
Favorite Southern expression?
“I love you a bushel and peck and a hug around the neck.” You know that little song, it can count as a saying, right? My grandfather sang it to his children and then to his grandchildren. I’m five months pregnant and am having a sign painted with that phrase to hang in the nursery. It has such special meaning to my family.
Best advice your mama gave you?
Pretty is, as pretty does. She taught me you’re only as pretty on the outside as you are on the inside so treat yourself and others with love, respect, and kindness. That’s been huge in my life being in the entertainment business!
What’s your hidden talent?
I’m actually a really good athlete. I grew up playing basketball and softball and, before that, football with the boys in the neighborhood. I’m super excited that we’re starting a softball team for Awkward this season. I call dibs on catcher!