She Plays Rocky, the beleaguered and biting assistant to Bryan (Andrew Rannels), the persnickety half of The New Normal's central same-sex couple. "Oh I love him," says NeNe Leakes of working with the Broadway vet. "He's hilarious, he's out of the closet...this [show] is gay heaven!"
You Know Her From Serving up sass to her cast mates on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, schooling Star Jones on Celebrity Apprentice, and terrorizing the kids of McKinley High as "Bronze damn Olympic medal" winning swim coach Roz Washington on Normal executive producer Ryan Murphy's Glee. "For him to believe in someone like me is just great," she says. "Here I am in Atlanta and I don't even know who he is. All of a sudden, he's calling my phone saying get on a plane and come to L.A. I'm like 'Who is this guy? Is he kidding me?'"
Why We Love Her Because she is always NeNe. "When I started shooting the first season of Real Housewives, I wasn't myself in front of the camera. I said 'I really cannot do this, I have got to be who I am.' I decided to be me and it worked." Lately, the reality vet has been going toe-to-toe on Normal with the formidable Ellen Barkin, which makes us even more grateful for tonight's Thanksgiving episode.
ThreeNe Leakes? In addition to Normal and the current fifth season of RHOA, Leakes also hopes to return to Glee at some point. "I will do it all!" Just don't accuse this one of going Hollywood. "When people say 'Oh, NeNe's changed,' I'm like 'No b***h, I've been like this since I walked through the door.' I didn't change, honey. I achieved."
The New Normal airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.