INTERVIEW: Awkward's Nikki Deloach is already teasing a tearful finale
Awkward Season 5's premiere is fast approaching. Before it starts, though, SheKnows wanted to catch up with star Nikki Deloach. We looked back and we looked ahead, and here's what she told us.
SheKnows: Season 4 ended with quite a few shockers: Lacey is pregnant, Tamara got engaged, Val is quitting her job, and Jake and Gabby hooked up. Which one shocked you the most?
Nikki Deloach: Val quitting her job. Because no one loves high school more than Val. Biggie must be a really good... father to her cats.
SK: Will Season 5 pick up right where Season 4 left off?
ND: It will! And the first 12 episodes will take us through to graduation.
SK: Jenna was totally mature about Lacey's revelation and shut down the idea that having a baby meant Lacey couldn't go to college. Will we see Lacey go to college?
ND: Jenna is usually mature about Lacey's "revelations." Lacey usually has to catch up with her maturity. But in this case, Lacey follows the road of maturity and enrolls in college. The writers gave me some super fun material for this story line. I'm actually really proud of the story line because I personally feel that it's never too late to follow your dreams. Especially when those dreams are college.
SK: In the beginning of the series, Lacey seemed a little, shall we say, spacey as a parent. But recently, we're seeing just how protective she is of Jenna. As a parent yourself, what are your thoughts on Lacey's unique parenting style?
ND: Let's just say, God bless any girl my son brings home. I won't be a nightmare. But, I will absolutely be protective. What I love about Lacey's parenting style is that it has evolved. It has grown as she has grown and matured. I also love that our show doesn't present parents that have all the answers. Because no parent has all the answers. For me, being a parent has been the most humbling experience of my life.
SK: How do you think Lacey will be different as a mom the second time around?
ND: I think most parents are more experienced the second time around. You learn from your mistakes. You develop a skill set. As for Lacey, she was so young when she had Jenna. So, with the second child, her goal is to be the parent she wishes she could be with Jenna.
SK: In the Season 4 finale, we saw Lacey discourage Matty from pursuing Jenna. Are you a Jenna and Matty shipper? Do you want them to be together?
ND: I am the biggest fan of Matty and Jenna. But honestly, I don't know if that is because I am in love with Beau Mirchoff or Matty. I am married to the man I have been with for 16 years. So obviously I have a soft place for young love. :)
SK: What can you tell us about whether or not Tamara's engagement is going to stick?
ND: All I can say is if the engagement sticks, it will be the most organized wedding I've ever seen. Either way, I'm always Team Tamara.
SK: And do we need to prepare ourselves for less Val in the event that her plans to travel stick?
ND: Unfortunately, yes. But don't fret. Because my bestie, Desi Lydic, just booked a role as one of the new correspondents on The Daily Show. So, while it may not be Val, you will get to see more brilliant comedy from my girl.
SK: We hear there is going to be a time jump between the first and second half of the season. Which character would you say changes the most after the time jump?
ND: I think Jenna changes the most. I am actually really excited for our audience to experience the jump.
SK: Awkward is full of individually hilarious characters. Which one makes you laugh the most?
ND: Sadie and Val. Hands down.
SK: Some of the show's most entertaining moments come when Val, Ally and Lacey all get together. Are those scenes as much fun to shoot as they look?
ND: They are even more fun than they look! We are actually the best of friends in life. So, it is a dream come true when you get to do what you love to do with the people you love to be with. We can be a nightmare for our show runners... meaning we can't stop coming up with funny pitches or ideas. There was a fun Golden Girls pitch that we came up with. Our showrunners were not amused. Maybe we should create our own YouTube channel?!
SK: You guys seem like such a tight-knit group, often posting photos of one another hanging out outside of work. What can you tell us about the last day of filming?
ND: That it was super, super emotional. I cannot explain just how much we love each other. It's unlike any work experience I've had as an adult. I've been in the business and been on enough shows to know that this — what we have together — doesn't come along every day. We are very lucky.
SK: We know we're a while away from it screening, but in terms of the finale, what can you tease? Are we going to need tissues?
ND: Boxes of tissues. For the older audience, maybe some wine. Our writers took great care with our last episode. The last scene that we filmed was the last scene of the finale. All I can say is that I cried through the entire thing.
SK: Will we see Lacey finally make Val's dreams come true and refer to her as her best friend before the season is out?
ND: Our love is deeper than TV.
SK: Did the finale align with how you hoped your character would go out?
ND: Honestly, I was hoping for a mother/daughter scene with Jenna that didn't happen. I understand that there was so much our writers had to pack into that finale. So, at the end of the day, as a team player, I get it. But, as the character of Lacey.... I wanted that moment.
SK: Overall, what has this experience meant to you?
ND: As I am answering this, I am grabbing a tissue. Because I cannot speak about how much this experience has meant to me without being brought to tears. It has been one of the greatest professional and personal experiences of my life. I'm beyond grateful. I will forever be grateful. For every scene. For the character of Lacey. For that mother/daughter journey. But especially for the relationships that I have formed with our cast and crew. I am the luckiest lady to have been a part of this show.
SK: Were you ready to say goodbye or would you have kept going if you could?
ND: You know, I am ready for that next challenge creatively. But I will never be ready to say goodbye to Lacey or the show.
SK: And now that you've finished with Awkward, what can we look forward to seeing you in next?
ND: I am currently working on the new NBC show, The Player. And I have a TV movie coming out called A Kind of Magic. But let's all keep our fingers crossed for more Awkward... OK?! Ok. Good.