P-Valley J. Alphonse Nicholson opens up about the impact of his character’s sexuality struggle on the show’s viewers, including family members.
The scene, which features Lil Murda (Nicholson) trying to leave a heartfelt message for Uncle Clifford (Amman) features a slightly improvised moment to take the scene to the next level.
“Shout out to the director of that episode. She just gave me those options, and Katori did as well, and she said, “Listen, you can just kind of cross the threshold. Obviously, Ernestine, Loretta Devine’s character is blind, so she can’t quite see you but she can feel you.’ So not wanting to fully cross the threshold because then she’ll [Ernestine] be like hold up, what’s going on, but having the freedom to say, ‘Cool, let me just step close enough to Clifford, she can know that I feel her and I see her through this mirror, then the optional choice to touch the door just came…it was just a subtle thing that we found.”
Nicholson said working with Devine was "amazing," adding that he learned a lot from their scenes together.
“I learned so much from working with Loretta. From the time you step in the makeup trailer, she’s kind to you, she says good morning and then she kind of goes into her zone, so you learn a lot from people who have been doing it as long as she has,” he said. “When you come up to set, for one, you better be prepared, and for two, just be…an open book to be able to learn a lot that day.”
He also had nothing but kind things to say about Annan as well.
“Nicco, he’s an incredible person, shout out to Nicco. He’s an incredible actor, true gentleman and professional when it comes to the craft, so when he transforms into Uncle Clifford, there’s definitely an extra layer that he throws on for her,” said Nicholson. “So, it is just wonderful to see him kae the transition and I feel sorry for him because he has to walk around in heels all day and everybody else get to chill in sneakers…We don’t got all the crazy costumes, but it’s dope.”
The actor talked about how his role represents so many people who still struggle with their sexuality.
“We know so many Lil Murdas,” he said, adding that he also knows people in his own family who are or were closeted. “…I told this story for them, for my brothers and sisters and everyone in between who struggle with being themselves.”