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Claws Cast Bios

Cast Bios

Niecy Nash (@NiecyNash)
Desna

Niecy Nash is a multi-talented Emmy®-winning producer and twice-nominated actress. Her multifaceted career includes roles in HBO's Getting On, which has earned her two Emmy nominations, FOX's Scream Queens, Showtime's Masters of Sex and TV Land's The Soul Man. Nash is also headlining the new dramedy series Claws on TNT.

Nash was the host and producer of the Style Network's home makeover show, Clean House, which became the network's #1 program. Her work earned her two Daytime Emmy® nominations, and The American Women In Radio & Television honored Nash with the 2007 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Program Host. In addition, she was seen regularly as a celebrity panelist on the top-rated entertainment news program The Insider on CBS.

Nash is well-known for her role as no-nonsense Officer Raineesha Williams on the hilarious Comedy Central hit, Reno 911!, a half-hour unscripted spoof of Cops that aired for six seasons. The show was so popular, it was spun-off into a feature film, Reno 911: Miami, in 2007. Nash went on to star in her own FOX comedy series, Do Not Disturb, opposite Jerry O'Connell, in 2008.

Nash has had featured roles in the films Guess Who, opposite Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher; Code Name: The Cleaner, opposite Cedric the Entertainer and Lucy Liu; Not Easily Broken, based on the best-selling book by Bishop T.D. Jakes; and the Walt Disney Pictures summer blockbuster release G-Force, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Nash's television credits are another testament to her talent. Her style, humor and quick wit garnered her a stint as a correspondent on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She is also well known for her recurring role on the Peabody Award-winning comedy series The Bernie Mac Show, portraying Bernie's uproarious baby sister, Benita. Other recurring roles include TV's Presidio Med, That's Life, Popular, and City of Angels. Also included on her resume are guest-starring roles on such top-rated series as My Name Is Earl, Monk, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Girlfriends, NYPD Blue, That's So Raven, One on One, Judging Amy and Reba.

Additionally, Nash is developing various television and film projects through her own production company, Chocolate Chick, Inc. In her rare spare time, she is devoted to church and participating at charitable functions in support of causes that are close to her heart, including the prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, school violence and domestic abuse, among others.

Nash completed her education at California State University Dominguez Hills, where she majored in theater. She resides in Los Angeles.

 

Carrie Preston (@CarriePreston)
Polly

Through her insatiable passion for the arts and natural gift as both a comedic and dramatic actress, Emmy® winner Carrie Preston has landed standout roles from the stage to the big screen. Hailed as a scene stealer by the New York Post, she enjoyed many seasons working on her Critics' Choice Award-nominated and Emmy-winning portrayal of Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife; her recurring role in Person of Interest; and her starring role as sassy, red-headed waitress Arlene Fowler in the Golden Globe®- and Emmy-nominated HBO series True Blood. Preston also appeared as a recurring character in the Showtime series Happyish.

Preston most recently was seen starring in the NBC comedy Crowded, opposite Patrick Warburton, Miranda Cosgrove and Mia Serafino. In addition to her starring role in TNT's Claws, she will soon be seen playing a lead role in When We Rise, ABC's eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement. And she will appear in the independent film To the Bone, alongside Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins.

Preston's recent credits include starring in 5 Flights Up, opposite Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman; the coming-of-age story Beneath the Harvest Sky; Sarah Knight's Vino Veritas; A Bag of Hammers, with Rebecca Hall and Jason Ritter; Dustin Lance Black's What's Wrong with Virginia?, opposite Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris; and the indie film Sironia, starring Jeremy Sisto, which premiered at the Austin Film Festival.

Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, where her mother was an artist and art therapist while her dad was a geotechnical engineer, Preston discovered her true calling in life lay in the performing arts. At the age of 12, she became the impresario of her own front-yard theater company as producer, writer, casting director, costumer, director and, of course, actress. She later obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Evansville, followed by an acting diploma from the prestigious Juilliard School.

It was Preston's breakout Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated turn as Miranda in George C. Wolfe's Broadway production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, with Patrick Stewart, that led her to her auspicious big screen debut as one of the two sexy southern bridesmaid sisters in the Julia Roberts blockbuster My Best Friend's Wedding. She went on to play roles in major television series, such as Lost and Desperate Housewives, along with scene-stealing turns in Duplicity, with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen; Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona; the Oscar®-nominated Transamerica, as Felicity Huffman's sister; Alan Ball's Towelhead, opposite Aaron Eckhart; and the critically acclaimed independent film That Evening Sun, with Hal Holbrook.

Preston met her husband, Emmy winner Michael Emerson, while playing Ophelia in Hamlet at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Since then, the two have starred together in the movies Straight Jacket, Grace & Glorie and The Journey. Keeping it in the family, she played Emerson's mother in a flashback on his hit series Lost. Additionally, he had a role in the film 29th and Gay, which Preston produced and directed.

Preston's other theater credits include the Broadway productions of Festen, with Jeremy Sisto and Julianna Margulies, and The Rivals, with Brian Murray and Emily Bergl, along with off-Broadway productions of Antony and Cleopatra at the Public Theater (cross-dressing as Octavius Caesar to Vanessa Redgrave's Cleopatra); Cycling Past the Matterhorn, with Shirley Knight; John Guare's Chaucer in Rome, with Jon Tenney at the Lincoln Center; Boys and Girls, with Malcolm Gets and Freedomland at Playwrights Horizons; Straight Jacket at Playhouse 91; and The Libertine at Theatre Row. She has performed regionally at such theaters as The Guthrie, where she played Honey opposite Patrick Stewart and Mercedes Ruehl in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Williamstown, where she played opposite Bebe Neuwirth and Roger Rees in The Taming of the Shrew; Baltimore Center Stage, where she originated the lead role in Warren Leight's No Foreigners Beyond This Point; The Long Wharf, where she played Mia Farrow's daughter in James Lapine's Fran's Bed; and the McCarter Theater, where she acted with husband Emerson in an acclaimed production of Hamlet. She has also performed in countless Shakespeare plays at festivals in Georgia, Alabama, Utah and California.

Preston is also a director and producer with her production company, Daisy 3 Pictures. Her directorial debut was the feature film 29th and Gay, written by and starring James Vasquez, which is available on DVD. She also directed the short film Feet of Clay, by David Caudle, which made the festival rounds. James Vasquez's Ready? OK!, which she starred in and executive-produced, played more than 50 festivals, both domestic and international. Preston won the Best Actress award at Film Out San Diego, where the film had its world premiere. She also directed and produced That's What She Said, a feature film written by Kellie Overbey and starring Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat. The film made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was screened at the 2012 Nashville Film Festival, where it was honored with awards for Best Film by a Woman Director and Best Actress for star Alia Shawkat.

Most recently, Preston directed Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show, which premiered at Soho International Film Festival. The film stars comedian Kate Rigg and the electric violin-fueled poetic punk duo Slanty Eyed Mama.

Preston and Emerson travel back and forth between Los Angeles and New York with their adopted dog, Chumley.

 

Harold Perrineau (@HaroldPerrineau)
Dean

An accomplished actor who has graced the stage, screen and television, Harold Perrineau has earned a well-deserved reputation as a performer willing to take on just about anything, with roles ranging from drag queens to hardened criminals. A native of Brooklyn, Perrineau studied music and theater at the Shenandoah Conservatory but began his career as a dancer with the Alvin Ailey Company, performing with the troupe for a year and a half. A gradual shift to acting led Perrineau to the theater, where he acted in a number of productions including Dreamgirls, the critically acclaimed Avenue X and the off-Broadway revival of Godspell.

While working on the stage, Perrineau also began appearing on TV in such shows as The Cosby ShowThe Days and Nights of Molly DoddI'll Fly Away and Law & Order. He segued onto the big screen in the late '80s and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Rashid Cole, a young man searching for his long-absent father (Forest Whitaker) in Smoke, the acclaimed 1995 drama directed by Wayne Wang and based on the writings of Paul Auster. The following year, he gained further exposure for his flamboyant, explosive portrayal of Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. At one point outfitted in a glitter miniskirt and platform heels, Perrineau proved a worthy, if idiosyncratic, foil for Leonardo DiCaprio's Romeo and gave a performance that marked him as one of the more distinctive Mercutios in the play's history.

Perrineau subsequently appeared in a number of supporting roles in films, ranging from Auster's Lulu on the Bridge (1998) to The Best Man (1999), a celebrated romantic comedy directed by Malcolm D. Lee (cousin of Spike Lee) that saw Perrineau share the screen with other members of a group widely billed as a new generation of African-American actors, including Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard and Nia Long. In addition to appearances in various independent films, Perrineau starred in Woman on Top (2000), a comedy that cast him as the drag queen best friend of a young woman (Penelope Cruz) experiencing romantic woes. Perrineau also starred in 20th Century Fox's hit 28 Weeks Later, opposite Jeremy Renner, and in the independent features Gardens of the Night and Your Name Here. In addition to his film work, Perrineau remained active on television with a significant part as a paraplegic prisoner in the acclaimed HBO series Oz.

Perrineau has reached an even wider audience through a string of high-profile projects, including a starring role in the final two installments of The Matrix trilogy (Revolutions & Reloaded), and his portrayal of Michael in the Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-winning ABC television serial Lost, which garnered Perrineau a Screen Actors Guild Award® in 2004 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series. During this time, he also won an NAACP Award for his performance in Topdog/Underdog, directed by George C. Wolfe.

Perrineau can also be seen in Kathryn Bigelow's Academy Award®-nominated Zero Dark Thirty, as well as Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man Holiday, the sequel to The Best Man. In addition, he starred as one of the leads of the TBS series The Wedding Band; recurred on Son of Anarchy in his critically acclaimed performance as Damon Pope; and played Judge Keller in Amazon's breakout hit Goliath.

Most recently, Perrineau starred as the lead opposite Diane Lane and Joel Grey in the Broadway production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard for the Roundabout Theatre Company.

 

Jenn Lyon (@MissJennLyon)
Jennifer

Born and raised in North Carolina as the daughter of a preacher, Jenn Lyon is an award-winning stage actress who recently made the leap to film and television work. She moved to New York after graduating the North Carolina School of the Arts and has worked extensively in theater and food service ever since. Theater highlights include appearing on Broadway in the American premiere of Tom Stoppard's 11-time Tony-winning The Coast of Utopia trilogy and Larry David's hit comedy Fish in the Dark.  Her off-Broadway credits include A.R. Gurney’s The Wayside Motor Inn, which won the Drama Desk Ensemble Award, and the premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's Hold On To Me Darling at the Atlantic Theatre, which was named one of the best plays of 2016 by the New York Times. In addition, she has originated roles in such world premiere works as John Guare's Are You There, McPhee?

Lyon has shared both stage and screen time with Tim Olyphant in Hold On To Me Darling and as his love interest in FX’s Justified seasons three and four. She also starred opposite George Lopez and Danny Trejo in the sitcom Saint George. Other television appearances include Army Wives, Suburgatory, Louie and Crashing, which is soon to air on HBO. Her film credits include Phil Spector, with Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, and the independent films Flower Shop and Lemon. She is currently working on a film titled Blaze, directed by Ethan Hawke.

Lyon is also a writer/producer/co-founder of internet sketch group POYKPAC, which has produced sketches with more than 100 million views to date. They have written for and been seen on MTV, IFC, G4, CBS and CNN. 

Lyon lives in Brooklyn when she’s not running around the country working as an actress and writer and generally shaming her family.

 

Judy Reyes (@itisijudyreyes)
Quiet Ann

Judy Reyes is a Dominican-American actress born in the Bronx. Best known for her role as Carla in the iconic television show Scrubs, she also starred on Lifetime's hit show Devious Maids, guest stars as Dina in the CW's Jane the Virgin and will be recurring on the upcoming Netflix series One Day at a Time. She has also appeared in such films as Gun Hill Road and will be seen in the upcoming feature The Circle. Reyes has worked extensively in television, theater and film for the last 20 years and remains a founding member of NYC’s Labyrinth Theater Company. 

Reyes is thrilled to be expanding her role in Hollywood by executive-producing an animated video series entitled La Golda. Sponsored by UnitedHealthcare's "Do Good. Live Well." initiative, La Golda tells the story of an eight-year-old Latina orphan who uses soccer to bring awareness to a variety of social and environmental issues with the goal of engaging kids to take action and give back to their communities. Inspired by the animation, Reyes and its creator, George Valencia, started the Sound of Gol Foundation, whose mission is to build strong leaders for tomorrow through the game of soccer. 

 

Karrueche Tran (@karrueche)
Virginia

Karrueche Tran began her career in entertainment as a celebrity stylist. Her keen eye for fashion and her ability to anticipate trends landed her a high-end clientele personal stylist position at a national department store in 2009. Since stepping into the limelight, Tran has graced the pages and covers of magazines and been a hot topic on hundreds of online blogs and news outlets. She has even had the opportunity to collaborate with such brands as ColourPop, for the launch of her makeup collaboration KaePop; Tattify, on a line of high-end temporary tattoos called K-INK; This Is A Love Song, on a capsule collection for festival season; and V/SUAL by Van Styles, on a limited edition t-shirt line exclusively sold at PacSun.

In 2014, Tran hosted the BET Awards red carpet and multiple events during BET Weekend. The experience propelled Tran into additional opportunities with the BET family, hosting multiple 106 and Park episodes and BET specials. Over the past two years, Tran has continued to perfect her craft and grow as an emerging actress with roles in the films The Nice Guys, A Weekend with the Family, Only for One Night and the SXSW Award-winning horror film Welcome to Willits. Tran has also guest-starred on the Centric hit series Single Ladies and the Emmy®-winning series The Bay. She will next be seen in TNT's wicked dramedy Claws.

Tran's love for fashion is complemented by her desire to give back through charity and philanthropic endeavors. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Environmental Media Association and through her ColourPop cosmetics line supports the Green My School Program, which inspires students to make healthier food choices and have greater self-confidence and leadership skills. She is also currently spearheading The Watts Garden Project.

 

Jason Antoon (@jasonantoon)
Dr. Ken Brickman

Jason Antoon, a Southern California native, graduated from the prestigious acting program at Carnegie Mellon University. His big acting break came in the 2000 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Contact, for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. Since then, he has worked on numerous films, from Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, to three feature films with Hugh Grant.

Antoon has also appeared in such TV shows as Fresh Off the Boat, Shameless, iZombie, Modern Family and Sex and the City, to name a few. In addition, he has written for Comedy Central’s Trip Tank and created and starred in two acclaimed web series, Vamped Out and Bitter Party of 5.

Antoon will next be seen playing Dr. Ken Brickman in TNT’s Claws and as a recurring guest star in Freeform’s Famous in Love. An accomplished author, Antoon had his first book, The Cursed Frog and Other Modern Fairy Tales, published by Dutch Kills Press in 2015.

 

Kevin Rankin
Bryce

Kevin Rankin can most recently be seen in Academy Award®-nominated Hell or High Water, alongside Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. Rankin previously completed work in Wild, opposite Reese Witherspoon; Dallas Buyers Club, opposite Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto; and White House Down, alongside Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal. These followed on the heels of his starring role in Wayne Kramer's Pawn Shop Chronicles, opposite Matt Dillon and Paul Walker. Rankin's film credits also include roles in Robert Duvall's The Apostle, Ang Lee's The Hulk and 20th Century Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, starring opposite Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke.

Rankin made his television debut in FOX's Judd Apatow series Undeclared, alongside Seth Rogen and Amy Poehler. He has recurred on many critically acclaimed television series, including FX's Justified, HBO's Big Love and Six Feet Under, NBC's Friday Night Lights and the final season of AMC's Emmy®-winning Breaking Bad. Rankin also starred in the NBC medical series Trauma and the CBS procedural Unforgettable

 

Jack Kesy
Roller

Jack Kesy recently starred in the Guillermo del Toro-produced FX series The Strain, playing the key role of Gabriel Bolivar. He will next be seen on television in TNT's new dramedy Claws. For the big screen, he recently completed filming Eli Roth's Death Wish, opposite Bruce Willis, for MGM and is currently shooting Horse Soldiers, opposite Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, for Lionsgate.

Kesy's other upcoming film credits include starring in the independent feature Brother's Blood, opposite Trey Songz; Seth Gordon's Baywatch, opposite Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson and Alexandra Daddario; and the independent feature Juggernaut. He also just guest-starred in a pivotal episode of the Emmy®-winning Showtime series Ray Donovan, playing Butch Kramer, a character based on Vin Diesel.

Kesy's film credits include The Throwaways, starring James Caan, and Shut In (aka Intruders), starring Martin Starr. His other big-screen credits include Grand Street, directed by Lex Sidon; Empire Gypsy, written and directed by Sean Slater; Morgan, the award-winning drama directed by Michael D. Akers; and the short ensemble film 8:46, directed by Jennifer Azano.  

Before making his way on television and movie screens, Kesy attended the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Prior to that, he served in the United States Marine Corps.

 

Dean Norris (@deanjnorris)
Uncle Daddy

Dean Norris is best known as the relentless DEA agent Hank Schrader on the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad, which won multiple Emmys®, Golden Globes® and SAG Awards® over its five seasons. In 2013, the show won its first Outstanding Drama Series Emmy, followed in 2014 by a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series, a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and a second Outstanding Drama Series Emmy.

Norris recently wrapped the final season of the hit series Under the Dome and co-starred in The History Channel’s popular miniseries Sons of Liberty, playing Benjamin Franklin.

On the big screen, Norris starred in Jason Reitman's Men, Women and Children, opposite Adam Sandler, and most recently was seen opposite Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Billy Ray’s The Secret in Their Eyes. He will next be seen alongside Naomi Watts in Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry and in the New Line feature Fist Fight, co-starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day.

A native of South Bend, Indiana, Norris is a graduate of Harvard University and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He currently resides with his family outside of Los Angeles.