Judy Reyes talks Quiet Ann becoming more vocal and representing the LGBTQ community

Photo credit: Claws/TNT -- Acquired via Turner Press Site
Photo credit: Claws/TNT -- Acquired via Turner Press Site /

In our 3rd Claws Q&A we spoke with Judy Reyes. You know her from shows like Scrubs and Devious Maids, but she is almost unrecognizable as Quiet Ann. We spoke with her about how Ann is changing this season.

Judy Reyes has been a staple on television since Scrubs first aired back in 2001. However, she is almost unrecognizable as Quiet Ann on Claws. In our talk, she touched on tackling such a different character and the reception she’s received from the LGBTQ community.

She is the muscle for Desna’s crew and takes her defense of the girls seriously. Unfortunately, it may have cost her a shot at real love and she’ll be dealing with that this season.

Hidden Remote: How excited are you for the new season of Claws? 

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Judy Reyes: I’m real excited, you know we’ve been working really hard this season and I can’t wait to see the results. I just saw the first episode at the screening in Houston with a very enthusiastic audience with Jenn Lyon, and Kevin, and Dean and it was lit! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds. You know we’re so deep into the season it’s hard to remember sometimes. We’ve done some re-shoots and reorganizations, you know. That’s how dedicated everybody is to make sure everything is on-point. So you’re like “oh my God that’s what we did back then!”

HR: Do you pay attention to how the fans react to your character at all?

JR: You know I do because it’s the most different character I’ve played my whole career. I’ve had the good fortune of being in television on two very well received TV series’ with Scrubs and Devious Maids. Although they’ve both been quite different in terms of type, that sassy type of character, this is so far removed that I do pay attention. The response has been so positive. Particularly being so well received in the LGBTQ community and I do pay attention to that. I’m so grateful that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

HR: I believe you mentioned in other interviews about maybe being a little intimidated coming into the role. Did you do a lot of research before you went to tackle this character?

JR: In terms of creating a character, such a different character, I did. I went into it in terms of building something so different from the ground up. From clothing, to looks, to hair. I went and researched it quite thoroughly. I went and worked on it with my acting coach. Even though she doesn’t really say much, there was something completely different to show. I wasn’t so much intimidated as I was intrigued to kinda deliver something completely different. I was very interested in getting it and paying tribute to whatever she was going to be. If I was going to be honest, I wanted to be thorough and I wanted to be really committed to it. It was a lot of fun to build. I had to go back multiple times before I could convince them, you know. And so I finally got it down.

Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site
Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

HR: I would imagine because your character doesn’t speak much that getting that right is a little more difficult. Is there a different type of preparation when you’re in a less vocal role?

JR: I think it is different. I work with these wonderful actresses, they’re there and even though I’m not saying much they’re always with me. So it’s a matter of interacting with your colleagues. As opposed to learning your lines all the time, you have to be present when you’re not saying anything. It’s a different kind of fun on set where you have to be active and present, you know working with your environment and working with your peers and colleagues. You know the fun thing about it is working with no heels, no makeup, no spanx. (laugh)

HR: Makes it just a little bit easier for you I would think.

JR: Yes it does.

HR: One of the strengths of the show is the camaraderie between the girls, how did you guys work to establish that before filming because it comes across so strongly on-screen.

JR: We have to give credit to writing and casting, and then these are just an extremely powerful group of extraordinary women. Jenn Lyon, Carrie Preston, Karrueche Tran, and Big Momma Niecy Nash. They’re just amazing. They’re really talented and they’re veterans. You know really gifted, great, great women. They’re just incredible to work with. They really care about the show and we care about each other. It just comes really naturally. [There’s] natural chemistry among us all. We f*****g love each other. It really does show.

When we have those scenes together and we’re just hanging out on set we just laugh and laugh and f**k around, we’re constantly joking, we’re giving s**t to the crew, we’re giving each other s**t, we’re making stupid videos. It’s just a blast, like a true blast. We work hard, we complain, we b***h and moan, we gossip. We get through it, you know?

HR: That’s one of the first things you notice about the show is that it feels like you guys aren’t even acting. You can just tell you enjoy being around each other.

JR: We do and we have a really generous and creative relationship with the writers. There’s always one of the writers [around], the writer of the actual episode is always present and always fluid with us on the script. Niecy Nash is just an extraordinary leader, always looking out for us. It’s just a super hard-working environment. We’re always working our asses off. That crew is giving their blood and sweat for us. It’s just really conducive for the kinda show that you guys continue to enjoy.

Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site
Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

HR: Let’s transition back to your character a bit. During last season you had the love interest, the cop. Should we expect to see more of that explored in season 2?

JR: You should, you should. Suleka Mathew returns. Quiet Ann is in agony over what she’s done to protect Desna and her crew, and as a result of Quiet Ann’s agony you will hear more of Quiet Ann. You’ll get to see a little bit more of her history and her past, you’ll get to meet her family this season. She’s just a little more vocal this season.

HR: I did see a tweet about her being more vocal but I wasn’t sure how much of a change we should expect. Is it going to be a significant difference?

JR: I think it’s… It’s significant. That much I’ll say, I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to say. I think she’s really in love with this woman. This woman is wounded as a result of losing her job and she’s wounded as a result of losing this woman. She was planning a future with this woman. So I think she’s pursuing her a little bit you know. She’s back in the picture as a result, I’ll give you that. You get to see a little bit more of what’s going on inside Ann’s mind. She’s a little more vocal as a result of her angst. There are more Russians in the picture…

HR: That’s actually where I was going next.

JR: So the girls are going to be in conflict as a result of all the s**t that’s going on. That makes a girl speak up a little more, you know what I mean? (laugh)

HR: So tell me a little bit about your new bosses, like you said it’s going to complicate the dynamic the girls have. What should we expect from the new bosses and how they complicate things?

JR: There’s more bosses, more mayhem, more murder, more of everything man. More nails, more Russians, more Dixie Mafia, more of everything. More Claws man.

HR: We definitely appreciate more Claws.

JR: Yeah. More of the girls, and woman power baby.

Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site
Photo credit: Claws/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

HR: Speaking of which. You guys obviously have the strong on-camera presence with female leads but you also have a strong presence behind the camera with female writers and things of that nature. How important do you think that is to the show?

JR: I mean, you know what’s exciting about this show. Even before the hashtag #TimesUp and Me Too movements, our show kinda came. So it’s more anticipatory with strong female writing and female leads and it’s also multicultural with the female characters, women over 40 and all female directors and we just were a little bit ahead of the curve.

We’re really proud of that and we enforce that, we encourage that, and we’re expanding on that. So we stand strong by that, we’re part of TNT which is a network that continues to enforce that in programming so it’s really exciting to be a part of a show that’s just a little bit ahead of the curve on a movement and just continuing to enforce and forge ahead on that. Our show reflects that. Our show is about women that are just kinda outlaws and leadership and doing everything that they can to take care of each other and themselves. They do their thing without the help of men and they stand up to men and do their thing, you know?

HR: I’m glad you mentioned being ahead of the curve because there really is nothing else like Claws so it has to feel good to be a part of that. You guys seem to embrace taking risks.

JR: It’s exciting, it’s exciting and it has proved to be very entertaining for viewers as well. So it’s been a win-win, and to play this character that is completely different it’s rewarding. I’m super grateful and it’s a unique opportunity. What can you say but thank you?

Next: Claws Interview: Jenn Lyon

HR: I would say, with your track record of being on shows that seem to stick, you might be a good luck charm for the longevity of the show.

JR: Yeah. (laugh) Thank you. It’s been amazing to work with the great Carrie Preston my God and Niecy Nash. Rashida Jones is producing, Will McCormack my God, and Eliot Laurence has just launched us all with such a great concept and pilot to begin with so I’m just really lucky to have this opportunity.

We’ll get to see more Judy Reyes and learn more about Quiet Ann when Claws returns on  Sunday, June 10th at 9/8 Central on TNT.