Niecy Nash went a little daring at the Emmys this year.
The actress, nominated for her leading role in Netflix's When They See Us, had barely said hello to E!'s Guiliana Rancic on the red carpet before she was warning of what could possibly happen tonight.
"I'm trying to keep it all in but if it falls out, you're welcome," she quipped after Rancic told her she looked fabulous, which she did, in her custom pink sequined Christian Siriano dress.
Nash plays Delores Wise in When They See Us, the mother of Korey Wise, one of the five young men unjustly convicted of the rape and near-murder of a jogger in Central Park in 1989. The actual story made major headlines when the case was originally going on, but made fewer headlines when the real assailant confessed in 2002.
Nash says the story of those boys, who were between the ages of 13 and 16, drew her in, and she felt like she was "carrying a burden" for them.
"When I first heard that [Ava DuVernay] was making this project, I knew I had to be a part of the narrative, and I slid into her DMs and I said, friend—and I had to do that because she doesn't have an answering machine on her phone—I really want to be a part of this," she says. "And I was so drawn in by the story of these five children who had their lives stolen from them, and I was carrying a burden for them, so I wanted to be a part of it."
Of all the responses she's gotten, Nash says the most rewarding was from the real Korey Wise, "who squeezed me so tight and said you did a beautiful job, you're my mom."
The Central Park 5, including Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana, are attending the Emmys tonight, and Nash said she plans to celebrate with them no matter what happens with the show's 16 nominations.
This is Nash's third nomination. She scored supporting actress noms for Getting On in both 2015 and 2016, and she hasn't won yet, but she has had her speech written for years, just in case.
"I wrote the speech a thousand years ago. It used to sit on the refrigerator, and people would say, what is that for? And I was like, I don't know, but when I get something, I want to be ready."