Born and raised in New York, actress Nia Jervier later relocated to Los Angeles and is proud to be of Trinidadian descent. She started performing in theater at the age of 8 years old and first caught the acting bug when she attended the “City Lights Youth Theater” in New York. She is best known from Netflix show, “Dear White People”, and the film, “Step Sisters.”
Check out our interview we did with Nia and keep up to date by following her on Instagram and Twitter!
R: When did you first discover your drive to be an actor?
N: When I was 8 years old. My mother enrolled me in musical theater classes at a school called, “The City Lights Youth Theater” in NYC. I went every Saturday for musical theater, and every Wednesday for drama until I graduated from High School. I did a countless number of musicals and plays there including: ‘Once On This Island’, ‘The Apple Tree’, and ’The Music Man’. It was the most magical of places to me.
R: Who is a director that you would love to work with and why?
N: Jordan Peele has created space for people of color in the horror/thriller genre in the most remarkable way. I would love to be a part of his epic storytelling.
R: What are some actresses that you have looked up to the most and why?
N: Diahann Carroll! She’s the first African American woman to win a Tony award for Best Actress on Broadway, and the first to star in her own weekly Primetime television series. She is also a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar nominee. I’m inspired by the trails she blazed despite the obstacles of prejudice and hurdles of racism she endured in the political wilderness of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Her career has spanned 60 years and counting. She’s a classic lady, my muse.
Kerry Washington - her style and grace are unrivaled.
Last but certainly not least, Tessa Thompson. I’m encouraged by the specificity in the projects she takes on as well as what she chooses not to do. She is enchanting!
R: What has been the greatest moment or experience in your career so far that you’ll never forget?
N: Going to the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for an amazing short film I was a part of called, ‘Lady Like’.
R: Did you ever have any doubts of fears to pursue your dreams and how did you overcome them?
N: I was raised in a family of very practical, academic and financially driven career women. My desire to make them proud has interestingly been both my drive and my doubt. I use my confidence in what I know to be my truth to drown out the noise, lies, and distraction that fear can often create. When apprehension and anxiety appear I make it a habit to flood my mind and spirit with prayer and affirmations that remind me of who I really am and what I am purposed to do.
R: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
N: Creative talent is a birthright but a successful career is when practice and preparation meet opportunity. Always take class. Study some form of art EVERY day! Professional athletes train and practice daily. If you plan on being a professional actor so should you. It’s no different.
R: What has been the most encouraging feedback you’ve received from fans from working on DWP?
N: The West Indian and Caribbean American audiences’ approval of Kelsey being a Trinidadian American character has by far been the most rewarding.
R: What do you hope people will take away through your character and how has she inspired you?
N: Playing Kelsey is a dream. There is so much that she has to offer our audience. Her perspective serves as a mirror of sorts to expose the audience to their own ignorance and naivety in relation to race, politics, sexual identity, and socioeconomics. There are people that believe racism doesn’t exist! She gives the viewer an opportunity to see how bizarre that viewpoint is in a humorous way. She makes the pill a little easier to swallow. I’m honored to bring her to life.
R: How would you like to make a positive impact in the entertainment industry?
N: I would like tell stories that honor the varied nature of people of color. We are not a monolith. There is a plethora of brilliance and humanity in us that must be shared with the world. I plan to be a vessel that truthful characters and stories can live through and BE. My purpose as an artist is to use the power within me as a creative vehicle of change that will usher in a new atmosphere in people’s hearts and minds.
R: What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of acting?
N: I am quite passionate about interior design, particularly vintage and antiques. I have a boutique design company called, “House of Jervier”. It’s my baby. Introducing people to the luxury of a creative and unique living space sparks my bliss. When your home is layered, curated and clean, you have a foundation to living your best life. I’m also obsessed with fitness. I work out 5-6 days a week. My brain needs it to function at my best.