Cliché: Congratulations on the upcoming season four of AWKWARD! Did you think the show had this much staying power when you first took the role of Lacey Hamilton?
Nikki DeLoach: I definitely knew that we had something special with AWKWARD. I also felt like we had staying power. However, I had no expectations, because you just never know how something will be received. So many factors have to come together to create a great show. Then, you have to get people to tune in every week. The stars have to align, and I am so grateful that they aligned for us on AWKWARD.
In the last episode, we see Lacey and Jenna have a real mother/daughter moment—probably one of the most important ones in the history of the show since it relates back to the “carefrontation” letter in the pilot. Do you think moments like those make up for Lacey’s not-so-great parenting?
Despite the fact that AWKWARD is a comedy, we have always sought to present an authentic mother/daughter journey. That means showing the pain that mothers can sometimes unknowingly cause their daughters, as well as the heartbreak that daughters can sometimes cause their mothers. We have also shown how a mother and daughter can find their way to forgiveness. Those moments that Jenna and Lacey share not only grow their relationship together, but grow them both as individuals, and I absolutely believe they make up for Lacey’s past mistakes.
How are you enjoying being a fairly new mother yourself? Do you have any favorite moments of your own?
It’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I would love to say, “Every moment is my favorite moment,” but I would be a liar. When [my son] was crying non-stop for almost six weeks straight, those moments were really tough. I love when he smiles; it is pure joy and lights up every room. I love watching him discover the world. For me, it’s like re-discovering the world through fresh, innocent eyes.
Do you think any of Lacey’s parenting skills (or lack thereof) will be useful for when your son becomes a teenager?
I do feel like Lacey’s parenting skills will be useful because she is very communicative with her daughter, which I feel is important. She tries her best and is very well-intentioned. Kids can sense that. Also, she has the strength to discipline when need be, as we learned in season three. I feel like that is one of the more essential characteristics of a good parent. If you don’t teach a child how to be disciplined, they won’t possess it later in life.
One of the show’s early driving forces is that infamous “carefrontation” letter, written by Lacey. It completely alters Jenna’s opinion of herself and perhaps her entire high school experience to date. What was Lacey’s intention there?
It was Lacey’s intention that the letter alter Jenna’s opinion of herself and her high school experience, but in a positive way. Lacey thought that she was helping Jenna by suggesting that she take those actions. She had no idea that it would backfire the way it did. Lacey thought that she would help Jenna to be more outgoing, confident, and up level her whole high school experience. Lacey always has the best of intentions, but her execution of things is often flawed. I like to say that she has a very inadequate skill set; however, that skill set has definitely improved over the years.