Jenn Lyon talks Claws season 2 and their role in the Time’s Up movement


Our second Claws interview features Jenn Lyon. We spoke to her about how Jenn’s affair affects her this season. We also discussed the Time’s Up movement and Jenn getting to share her talents on the show.

Jenn Lyon plays Niecy Nash’s right hand woman on Claws, whose name also happens to be Jenn. Her character went through a lot last season. Her children were kidnapped, her husband has  become a murderer, and she had a falling out with Desna. By the end of the season she has also confessed to her husband about an affair she’s been having.

Jenn gives us the scoop (well as much as she could say) on how Jenn is handling these conflicts while also diving into the new threats the girls will face.

Hidden Remote: How excited are you for the season premiere coming up on June 10th?

Jenn Lyon: I am beside myself. I am so stoked. We got to see two episodes and I think they’re incredible. I think it’s like the Claws that you know but we’ve like, jacked up the crazy factor (laugh) with this new villain. So it’s even better. I’m so proud to be a part of it.

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HR: I can’t even imagine what that looks like with how amazing the first season was.

JL: Isn’t it? The first season I was like oh my God how are we gonna top this? My kids done already got kidnapped, like what are we gonna do now? Are we gonna have to kill everybody? And then we brought in a couple of new villains that really just ignited things. And you find out more about the girls’ backgrounds and why they are the way they are. You see why they make the choices they make. They navigate these all new waters. I just think it’s really exciting.

HR: With that said then. Some of what your character deals with, being a wife, a mother, and then you have the side relationship. How much will your decisions from last season roll over into this season?

JL: Oh man, yeah. Not only do they rollover, they take over. You know she had like a side thing with Hank, and she came clean to Bryce but now you’re going to see the aftermath and what the affair has done to her marriage. And what it does to her sobriety, her family, her relationships. It just really, it’s a roller-coaster for Jenn.

HR: I’m glad to hear that we’re going to be diving into Jenn a bit more because the complexity of the characters is one of the great things about the show.

JL: Yeah totally, and you get to dive into everybody. Like, Quiet Ann starts talking (laugh). So you get to know about her, you get to know more about Polly and why she is the way she is. You get to know more about Desna’s past, Dean, Uncle Daddy, Roller. Like everybody. It’s like this little treasure chest gets broken open. I mean maybe it’s more like Pandora’s box but for better or for worse these characters get cracked open and the insides come out.

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26399_023 CLAWS Ep 110 /

HR: That’s exciting. So besides the familial drama, you had some issues with Desna last season. How much of that is still going to be there going into this season?

JL: Oh man. God I don’t know if I’m allowed to give…

HR: Don’t say too much.

JL: Yeah, I don’t want to get in trouble with TNT.

HR: Alright I’ll move on. We’ll drop it.

JL: (long laugh)

HR: So then, you’ve already lightly touched on the new bosses this season and how they’re going to complicate things. How much fun was it dealing with a new dynamic this season with the Russians?

JL: It was so awesome. You know I loved the original badass head of the Russian mafia, but then her sister comes into town and like Riva was a crazy ass cold-hearted b***h. Then you meet her sister and you’re like; Oh my God, that was nothing. Because Franka Potente, you know her from like Bourne Identity and Run Lola Run, and she’s such a dynamic actress that she makes you love this terrible woman.

She’s just so funny, and wild, and motivational and you’re like why do I like this woman if I just watched her murder a room full of people, you know? And you find yourself rooting for her. It’s a real testament to the writing but also to her as an actress. Then you have Jimmy Jean-Louis who plays Dr. Ruval, you know the Haitian drug kingpin who Desna thinks is just her boyfriend. Jimmy’s like such an elegant, uh just, what is it about… He’s just so elegant and continental.

HR: I got to speak with him earlier so I understand.

JL: You did! He’s so wonderful. His impact and the way he plays his particular Haitian kingpin is just so, you know, he just plays it like a, like a smooth malt liquor. It just goes down so easy. And like Franka is irritating and wild and really shakes things up. He does a similar thing, but in a very different way. Like Billy Dee Williams or something.

HR: So you’ve got two different dynamics going on this season.

JL: Yeah

HR: So we should expect a wild ride.

JL: You know we try to pack like 8 episodes into every episode. Like when I watch it I’m like; oh SNAP! I forgot that happened! And I filmed it, I know what happened, but I still get excited.

HR: So what’s your favorite thing about the show?

JL: I guess one of my favorite things about the show, not to mention working with these women, like Niecy, Carrie, Judy and Ruech (Karrueche). Working with them every day, and then the boys, Harold, Jack Kesy, Kevin… it’s this group of actors that are so sensitive and funny and weird and kind and we can bust each other’s balls. Like going to work every day is a real pleasure and our crew is dynamite. I know it’s boring to hear an actor like: and we all get along, and we love each other and every day is like a greeting card, but it really is fantastic like that. So that’s a given.

But I think one of my favorite things about the show is sort of these surreal moments that happen. Like the synchronized swimming in the first season, or the ladies doing their choreographed “Lady Marmalade” thing while Bryce is committing murder. It’s like this juxtaposition of these worlds in these surreal moments, I think heightens the show. They make the world of the show this Florida noir thing that I think you don’t get to see on TV. It’s fresh and weird and it makes you think like, did that just happen???

HR: Exactly and that’s something I like about the show is that there is a lot going on but they still find time to do scenes that just pop on the screen.

JL: Right? Like they’re not afraid to take chances and that empowers us to make bold choices. It’s just a brave little show.

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26399_021 Claws 108 /

HR: I heard that you got a huge reception from the fans in Houston at the premier so I’m sure that felt good.

JL: It was so great. H-Town was lit. We had the best time, the questions they asked were so thoughtful and engaged. It was just great. It was great to be there. It was hot as hell, which I did not appreciate but you can’t help it, it’s Houston. I mean NOLA’s hot too. Geez it’s so hot, it’s so humid though. We call it, the air you wear. When you come outside you just wear it.

HR: You’ve gotta take care of yourself in the heat.

JL: Yeah for real you’ve got to like, drink water. The thing on the show is that you have these nails on so it’s really difficult, and you know the outfits we wear so just to go to the bathroom is a production man. So then we don’t drink water, then we get scolded by our hair and makeup people, and you’re like I just don’t want to take my nails off.

HR: That’s one of the things you don’t really think about.

JL: Yeah, you guys don’t know how we suffer for this art. (laugh)

HR: I’ve seen you mention the great nail techs you guys are working with. Do you have the same techs back this season?

JL: Yeah, the lady that does our nails now her name is Morgan and she’s at M.A.D Nails (@MadNails on instagram). She does some of our designs for the show but she’s our on set nail tech. When we have to go do press and stuff she makes us nails for that. She is just so badass, you just can’t believe it. And Also Beedy Williams, (@Beedy_the_black_nail_tech on instagram), who did our nails for the pilot and then some of the episodes, is still in full effect and holding it down in NOLA. Like these nail techs here, you think all the great nail techs are in LA, New York, Atlanta but they are off the chains in New Orleans. We get designs from one girl in China, this other girl from Iceland. Like it’s an international endeavor. It’s so awesome to represent nail techs. I think it’s so great to represent artists like that. You’re wearing it on your hand, it’s like 10 little pieces of art. I think that’s really cool.

HR: I feel like the creators really take the art itself very seriously.

JL: Yeah dude it’s an art form, and we take it seriously too. Like if we’re in the nail salon we also work to make sure it looks real. To make sure that we’re doing the steps that a real nail tech would do. If I’m pretending to do acrylics on somebody, the way I’m holding the brush, the way I’m using the acetone or the powder. You know, would I have my mask on, would I be smiling. You know we really put a lot of thought into it because we don’t want to get dragged. We don’t want to get dragged on social media by these nail techs.

HR: And it will happen.

JL: You know they will. They watch us.

HR: So I did want to mention something to you. You may or may not realize it but as of the first episode of season 2, this will be the character that you’ve played the longest. How does that feel?

JL: Whoaaa (silence). Wow. I didn’t even think that. I didn’t even like… yeah man that’s true. I mean I’ve done like long runs with plays, but this is longer. God it makes me feel great. It makes me feel.. it kinda gives me the hot nose a little bit like that feeling when you’re about to start crying and your nose is all hot. It gives me that which I think is about gratitude, for me at least. I feel so grateful that I get to do this. I am so lucky man, that this happened and that I get to work with these people and be on a show that’s so representative of women of color, age, size, the LGBTQ community. It just runs the gamut and it makes me feel so proud. Man, I have played this the longest, that’s awesome. I hope I get to keep doing it.

HR: We hope so too. So the last thing I wanted to give you a chance to speak on. Because you are a woman-led show, you’re kinda at the forefront of the Time’s Up movement. How good does it feel to be at the forefront of that movement?

JL: It makes me feel immensely proud and it also makes me feel motivated. We have this platform to do more and more and to put our money where our mouth is. We can change things, we are changing things. Not just this show but just women in general are standing up and having this voice and they’re saying we will have a seat at the table, we will be represented and I love that about the show. It’s showcasing these women and they’re not the accessory to the man that’s doing the badass s**t, they’re the ones doing the badass s**t. I love for, you know it’s not very appropriate for little girls, but I want girls and women to be able to look at TV and see themselves represented. And not just with beautiful, thin, white women you know, but all of these women.

HR: Right.

Jenn Lyon
Jenn Lyon /

JL: And I also love about these women, that they have a full and complicated sexuality. They enjoy their bodies and their life and they don’t apologize for it, and they’re not punished for it. Like they don’t have sex and then feel bad and have to repent in some way. They have sex because they want to and they like it and that’s just the name of the game. And that makes me feel really proud.

HR: It shows that we’ve come a long way that women can be shown in this way because, as you said, it’s rare.

JL: Exactly, it’s weird that like a woman gets to have pleasure on TV and not be punished for it in some way. Like it’s usually about adultery or something like that, like she gets to have this moment of pleasure and then she pays the price for it. These women pay the price for the other choices they make but it’s not about the sex they’re having.

Next: Claws interview: Jimmy Jean-Louis

HR: Is there anything from Jennifer, this season, that we aren’t going to be expecting?

JL: I think you don’t expect to hear her sing, and she’s about to. She’s got the pipes.

HR: Is that something that you brought to the show runners or is that something they came to you with?

JL: I pitched it last year because they were asking me if I had any hidden talents and I was like, well I sing, I play the saw, I can do a couple of things. So you get to hear her sing this season and I think you’re going to really dig it.

Stay tuned for more Claws Q&A’s to come as we ramp up to the Claws season premiere on Sunday June 10th at 9/8 Central on TNT.