Dani Nicolet is an actress who wears many hats, from television, movies, cartoons to video games. Dani is known for her role in “3rd Rock From the Sun” where she starred with comedy legends John Lithgow and Jane Curtain. We recently caught up with her to discuss her new ABC comedy “Family Tools” with TV veterans Leah Remini and J.K. Simmons. Dani also discusses her recent voice over work as Storm in the X-Men cartoon.
Mandy: You are in a new ABC comedy entitled “Family Tools”, what can you tell us about the show?
Danielle: Family tools is a zany family comedy, in the vein of other great ABC comedies, like Modern Family and Suburgatory. It’s based on a BBC show called White Van Man, about a do-gooder named Jack, who comes home to run his family handyman business after his father has a heart attack. He stuck in his hometown trying to prove himself to his wacky family.
Mandy: How does your character Stitch fit in and can you explain her name?
Danielle: The show follows Jack, his family and their lifelong friends: the Boynton’s. A brother and sister played by myself and Edi Gathegi. Stitch is a nickname. My characters real name is Lisa, and as the season marches on the origins “Stitch” will be revealed!
Mandy: You are working with some TV veterans like Leah Remini and JK Simmons, how has that experience been?
Danielle: Unbelievable! I keep looking around and thinking how amazing it is. I’m such a fan of them both, and I’m happy to say that they are exceedingly kind and a joy to work with. Leah and I have even been having “dressing room wars”, competing for who can decorate her dressing room better on a budget. It’s turned out to be a great way to bond and settle in. No word yet on whose won. Fingers crossed!
Mandy: There its one character, Darren who has a phobia of feet and it seems like Stitch likes to antagonize him, why?
Danielle: He’s her brother. Doesn’t everyone LOVE to antagonize their brothers?!
Mandy: What are you afraid of?
Danielle: Oooh, I’m really scared of heights. I’m always afraid to admit that for fear that it will be used it against me… Nothing worse than being up in a ferris wheel with someone who thinks it’s funny to rock the car because you’re freaking out!
Mandy: The show is centered around this home improvement business, Mr. Jiffy’s, are you handy at all?
Danielle: Yes, the show is about the Shea family handyman business, “Mr. Jiffy Fix”. – I like to think of myself as handy, but I’m probably kidding myself! I’m better with electronics. I’m handy in the way that will get your playstation, TiVo and satellite up and running in no time. If I didn’t become an actor I would have made a great cable repair guy.
Mandy: You’ve also done some voice over work for video games and cartoons, do you enjoy that?
Danielle: I do! I’ve gotten to voice some really “out there” characters. It may be the only time in my career that my 5-foot-nothing, 97-lb self will get to play a seriously ass-kicking superhero, or gun toting member of a comedic street gang!
Mandy: You did the voice of Storm, for the X-Men cartoon, she has some pretty cool powers, if you were a super hero, what power would your want to have?
Danielle: I have to go with teleportation. Traffic in L.A. is the worst! Problem solved.
Mandy: Any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I’m not sure when this will run, but Monday night (Sept. 10th) I’ll be on Warehouse 13 on SyFy. I just love that show and got to play a really fun role.
Sometime soon we should be recording Saints Row 4, and I’ll pop up on Key and Peele on Comedy Central this season.
Other than that, my dance card is pretty full with Family Tools the next few months! We begin airing on ABC, Tuesday nights in January – Keep a lookout!!
Interview by Mandy Raytik