Nikki DeLoach may play the most despised character on Awkward, which is a significant achievement considering she is up against Sadie (Molly Tarlov). But as Jenna’s (Ashley Rickard) mom, viewers are constantly torn between resenting Lacey along with Jenna, and hoping she redeems herself as a parent.
In an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Nikki opens up about her bigger Season 2 role, whether Kevin is her Matty or her Jake, and what to expect in the final four episodes of Awkward Season 2.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Did you know that you were going to have such a big arc in season two?
Nikki DeLoach: You never really know. Lauren [Iungerich], the creator, talks to each of us about our arc each season, but you never really know what's going to end up on the page. They finish writing it, and then it goes to MTV. And when it's edited, you never know what gets cut. So I didn't really realize it. I knew that it was going to be this great and nice and beautiful arc, but I didn't realize it was going to be as sizeable as it was until I was watching it.
So where do we go from here?
In the last episode, Lacey ended up walking away from Ben and saying that she'll be fine again. And I think that she stepped away and was like, “I'm going to put myself first. I’m going to put my daughter first,” which is a big thing for Lacey. She's like a kid herself, and I think that we're growing her up on the show. As we're growing Jenna up, we're also growing Lacey up at the same time. So for her now, it's about trying to be the mother that Jenna needs her to be and trying to figure out who she is now as an adult and not as this teenager. That's where we're going from here on out.
Will she still try to reconcile with Kevin?
I think Lacey has been trying to reconcile with Kevin since the moment he walked out the door. She's trying everything. And obviously, I can't give it away, but I do know that Lacey's heart has always rested with Kevin. So I don't think that she's going to stop trying to reconcile her marriage.
What about Ben? Is he still going to be in the picture?
You know, me, personally, I love Kris Polaha so much. I love him as a person. I love him as an actor. So it would be amazing to have him on the show all the time. But from a character point of view, I think that Lacey and Kevin have this relationship that people root for. They want them to be together. So, Ben is definitely not going to be around more for season two, but we're hoping to try to convince him to come back in season three under different circumstances.
Game night at the Hamilton household?
Yeah, exactly. How weird and awkward would that be? It sounds perfectly on point though with our show.
What happens between Lacey and Kevin from now on?
We have four more episodes to go. I will say as far as Lacey and Kevin go, Lacey's not going to give up her quest to get her husband back. But outside of that I think mostly what she really is focused on is repairing her relationship with her daughter. We will find out why Lacey wrote that letter in the beginning.
What were your thoughts on finding that out?
Well, it's something actually that Lauren and I had spoken at length about back in Season 1 because the way that I work as far as my acting technique goes, I feel like you have to create reasons why your characters do the things that they do. So Lauren and I came up with this really grounded way of igniting Lacey to sit down and write a letter to her daughter such as this. It really, really made a lot of sense for these characters and for the story. And I think that it's going to reveal a lot to our viewers about Lacey.
Thus far, she has appeared to be this character that's really had everything going for her, and that wasn't always true. And we’re starting to unravel those truths episode by episode. Like, where Ally says to Jenna, “Your dad walked out on your mom a long time ago, and he's been doing it ever since.” That was one hint at the fact that Lacey hasn't always had it easy. It hasn't been an easy marriage. And she has been fighting for this relationship with her daughter since day one, and that's something that Jenna didn't know. And that's something the audience didn't know.
Is the reason that she wrote this letter something that will make her, or that action, more redeemable?
Yeah... Isn't it amazing? And by the way, it just speaks to the genius that is Lauren Iungerich. it's so funny because I was watching Breaking Bad last night, and in the episode, basically, they brought the whole entire story around from like episode one, season one. That is also what makes Lauren so good because she thinks like that. She crafts stories that way. And she has put pieces of the puzzle in place from day one, from season one, from episode one, and whether or not we were getting season two, this was her plan all along, to let everything reveal itself, episode by episode by episode. And you think you have someone pegged, and then something else is revealed, and it makes you see them in this totally different light.
I love working with a show creator who thinks not just in detail, but about the big picture. I really, really get to come to set every day having this real life of a character that you get to play out all the nuances. It's just such a dream.
It’s also interesting how Lacey's relationship with Kevin and Ben reflects Jenna's relationship with Matty and Jake. I would assume if anything brings those two together, it's a realization that they're both living the same sort of triangle?
I think that's how she actually writes both the characters of Jenna and Lacey. At the end of the day, she feels like boys and friends will come and go, but it's foundational, that relationship with your mother, especially when you're a teenager. It speaks to how you feel about yourself and who you think you are in this world, and the perspective that you have of the world. And so she really, really starts to kind of parallel both of their stories, and in a way, it's beautiful because I think it's a universal story.
I think mothers live vicariously through their daughters. And daughters look at their mothers and they want guidance, and they want to see hope, and they want to have faith in something. And a lot of times they put that in their mothers, and they let them down. It’s just a universal mother/daughter story that's funny, with a lot of heart. It’s really speaking to a lot of people, and that just makes me so happy because a lot of thought is put into it.
Is there anything you can say about the Jenna, Matty, Jake triangle, which is now taking a really interesting turn? Seeing Jake this angry is not something we’ve seen before.
What's really interesting is that, I think, Jake is even more upset about the fact that this friend didn't tell him. Like, his best friend. How can a best friend keep something like that from him? The way that Lauren has taken the love triangle over the course of the rest of the season is really, really interesting. And unlike what you would normally get on a show where there is such a buzz going. I just think it's really good, and I hope the audience likes it.
Check out all of Wetpaint Entertainment’s Awkward coverage.
Awkward airs on Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.