Nicco Annan interview: ‘P-Valley’
“This role has allowed me to be more audacious and authentic,” declares Nicco Annan about playing Uncle Clifford on “P-Valley.” For our recent webchat he adds, “I’ve always been a person who has walked in my own truth. I never fit into the confines society gives me. This role is a space where you can spread your wings and do all things. Some people, because of their previous biases with Black characters and queer characters, can be very limited. Being able to play Uncle Clifford is something that allows me to flex, and allows all of those things to be gone. It’s like the phoenix.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“P-Valley” takes place at a strip club in Mississippi called ‘The Pynk.’ It uses noir storytelling to explore the lives of the characters who work there. Annan plays Uncle Clifford, the non-binary leader who struggles for ownership of his club in season two. Annan explains, “Regardless of how you identify as a person, you can relate to Uncle Clifford. Whether you are a cis heterosexual women in a corporate position that’s dating a blue collar worker man. Or whether you are an older man dating a younger person. There’s space for a lot of people to relate.”
Season 2 of the Starz series explored how the COVID pandemic affected the club and lives of those working for the small business. Annan admits, “One of the biggest challenges was portraying the pandemic. The emotional and psychological components were so real because they were so fresh. To have to tap into some of those feelings and throughs of that time was really, really, really, really heavy. One of my parents had actually contracted COVID and was in the hospital. That was something that was fresh and triggering when Uncle Clifford’s grandmother, played by Loretta Devine, was going through her bout of COVID. The weight of all of that was the most challenging thing.”
Clifford also had to take on the stripper pole this past season as well. He says, “I kept asking myself, ‘why did they wait ‘til I was over 30 to give me a role like this?’ I had to go back to my dance days and get my hamstrings and hips open and stretched. Luckily, because I have a background in dance, I was still halfway there.”