The HBO series Getting On, now in its second season, is set in the geriatric ward of a Southern California hospital. Based on a British series by the same name, it takes viewers inside every aspect of life with elderly patients — dealing with death, diapers and language that goes beyond scatological.
Niecy Nash, who plays Nurse DiDi, says the cast may have been caught off-guard by some of the subject matter that came up in the first season — but not anymore.
“After we came back for Season 2, we were like, ‘Is that all you got?’ ” Nash tells guest host Tess Vigeland. “We deal with everything from the uttermost to the ‘guttermost.’ “
Nash, who spent six years on the Comedy Central mockumentary-style series Reno 911!, initially auditioned to play a different character, Nurse Dawn — now played by Alex Borstein. She got a callback for that part and asked the producers if she could read for the part of Nurse DiDi instead. Initially, they said, “No.”
“I just started to talk about how much I loved her and the things that I thought were so subtle and so interesting,” Nash recalls. “So they said, ‘Well, if you love it that much, we’ll let you read.’ “
Her role on Getting On has led to a recurring role on the FOX show The Mindy Project and a part in the forthcoming film Selma — where she plays Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson, the civil rights leader who famously opened up her home to planners of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. She says she got those roles after the producers saw her as Nurse DiDi.
“Getting On is the gift that keeps on giving,” she says.