Nicki Micheaux is the “Lincoln Heights” actress who’s finding new ground as the star of the upcoming pulp-fiction film, “LOWLIFE,” directed by Ryan Prows. “LOWLIFE” follows Micheaux as “Crystal,” a surviving addict who becomes a hero trying to save her alcohol ridden husband’s life, by acquiring a kidney from the daughter she gave away. Exploring topics such as sex trades and organ harvesting, Micheaux certainly brings the drama to pulp-fiction in the film, which is set to premiere on April 6th. Continue reading as Micheaux takes us deeper into “LOWLIFE”, the “Lincoln Heights” legacy, her desire to explore entrepreneurship and her advice to aspiring artists in entertainment.
Los Angeles Sentinel: Tell us about your role as Crystal in the new pulp-fiction comedy film “LOWLIFE”?
Nicki Micheaux: It’s a character I never really played before. I’ve played down and out women, but she’s a hoarder, she sold her daughter and she’s trying to get the kidney back, that’s the set-up, so it was such a crazy thing. The movie’s got action and comedy and a lot of blood, and I was like ‘you know what, this is going to be fun.’
We’re looking at things that are happening that most of us don’t even think about. Then we throw it at you in this wild movie. This stuff is happening, but we don’t want to preach it to you, we’re going to entertain you, but you can’t leave without knowing, because we told you.
LAS: What’s been your most memorable moment thus far as an actress?
NM: The fans for Lincoln Heights are really the things that have been so exciting. The show meant so much to them and a generation grew up with the show and it’s still on somewhere, it’s like never off the air.
LAS: Are you open to a “Lincoln Heights” reboot?
NM: I think Lincoln Heights was before its time. We were talking about police issues, policing in the neighborhood, family issues and at that time, it was so hard to get people to pay attention to a Black drama. Now, we would just be one of many, but at that time it was really something that was very unique and definitely a groundbreaking show, so I would love a reboot. It’s a great family, great characters.
LAS: How has TV & Film changed since you’ve been an actress? When you purse diverse roles, is the response different now than it was before?
NM: Well number one; there are so many more female directors, which is just fantastic. The best part of all of this movement has been the roles. Now, I’m reading for roles that are well defined and multifaceted. There’s no more pigeon-holing. I read scripts and I’m like, they want me to read it and it’s so exciting because that’s the part that’s new. I like that this is the new normal. The population is changing and we want to see ourselves on screen, more of every color, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.
LAS: What is your ideal acting role?
NM: I love the period pieces like “Game of Thrones,” but I wanted to do something like “Cleopatra,” but you know Cleopatra’s a teenager. So something where I could be a queen, where there’s tribes and fighting and sex and all sorts of stuff like that. Either in the past or in a futuristic setting would be really fun.
LAS: What does it mean to be a woman standing in her truth in a male-dominated industry?
NM: It’s really empowering because I think as women we are bred-trained to not speak up about things that are bothering us, because if you did, you’re the B-word. A woman with a voice is a B, a woman who’s trying to be in charge of something, a female boss is the B-word. So now, I think we get to be all of who we are. I feel like sometimes I’ve been a fighter for a long time.
There’s that societal thing and then there’s the career stuff. In the business there are limited options, so standing in your truth sometimes means people don’t get it and it takes a lot of practice to really just listen to that small voice inside and stick to it. That’s the beauty of God is that you have that small voice inside of you that says, this is the art that I want to create.
LAS: What do you say to young girls growing up in today’s society?
NM: Something happens in our culture, where from 8-15, girls are shifting from wanting to be smart and strong to pretty. And I hope that our girls coming up now will be able to choose, you can be pretty and strong. What’s the definition
of strong, what’s the definition of pretty, that they get to define that for themselves?
LAS: What do you say to budding artists in entertainment who want write, create and act in their own projects?
NM: There’s never been a better time to tell your story in whatever way you want to tell it. Whether it’s a poem, whether it’s a movie or even your Instagram. You’re telling your story, you’re telling your truth. There’s never been a better time to own your own product, putting your own product out there and owning it. There are so many things opening up in business.
LAS: Do you have any untapped gifts or talents that you would like to explore further?
NM: I think I have a real desire to be an entrepreneur. I’ve been dabbling into [it] over the years, but now I’m really interested in building a business in the entertainment industry. I think that’s my next talent, I want to see what that might be. I still also think that there’s so much more that I want to do as an actor because now there are more roles that are open to me. As a mother, I want to be able to leave some kind of legacy behind for my children and I think that’s in business and I think more people of color we need to do that.
Nicki Micheaux says she spends her spare time as a soccer and track mom of her two children and looks forward to the diverse character roles and business opportunities in front of and behind the scenes. See our exclusive interview with Nicki Micheaux at www.lasentinel.net and be sure to catch “LOWLIFE” premiering April 6, 2018 in theaters near you!