Nadine Velazquez Talks ‘Queens’ and What It Means To Be One in Real Life

Lead Photo: ABC/Kim Simms
ABC/Kim Simms
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Briana, a.k.a “Professor Sex,” Valeria, a.k.a. “Butter Pecan,” Naomi, (Brandi) a.k.a “Xplicit Lyrics,” and Jill, (Naturi Naughton) a.k.a. “Da Thrill,” are the four women in the one time hella popular girl group “Nasty Bitches” in the ’90s and their reunion is at the heart of the new ABC show Queens, premiering tonight (October 19).

Rememzcla talked to Nadine Velazquez about her character Valeria. The actress could not be more certain of what it means to be a queen.  “To me being a woman is like being a goddess, that’s how I’ve always seen it as a little girl,” she says.

“I just saw all this power,” she continued confidently. 

Nadine recalled being drawn to Wonder Woman when she first appeared on television. So much so that when Nadine spotted a woman named Martha at church who looked like Lynda Carter, she became obsessed with her. “I would write her love letters,” she elaborated, telling her she had the most beautiful hair and smile. “It was just something about the aura of a strong woman that I loved so much.” 

That admiration for a strong and confident woman has not gone away for Nadine. Though, she is more precise with her queen qualifications and where they can and can’t be found. “Today I feel like society has just watered down that beauty. Now, it’s about being aggressive and assertive. And all of those things are true for being a queen. But, it’s missing the femininity, it’s missing the grace, it’s missing the wisdom, the thing that makes women so mystical. To me, that is what a queen is. It’s a spiritual thing for me.”

Velazquez also went on to say, “The great thing about being a woman is that we are not just multitalented.  We can wear many faces. That is part of being a queen. It’s like art and skill. Like, which mask do you need to put on to get what you need to get done, done. We are just that magical.” 

Her character is well versed in wearing masks. Valeria is the only one of the four women with any semblance of a career. Before rededicating herself to the group in the series she is a television host with an extra dose of ambition. 

Being the only one of the three women without a musical career Nadine needed to do some serious research for the role of Valeria/Butter Pecan. And while studying she came across Angie Martinez. “She’s Puerto Rican and she was a rapper. She had a small rap career in the ’90s. Now she has a radio show and she interviews hip hop artists.” Coincidentally, Martinez was known as Butter Pecan. 

“I don’t know if that’s where he (show creator Zahir McGee) got it from, but Butter Pecan is real.” 

Also real? The drama. It, the shade, the support, and the sisterhood, they are all real in Queens. The first episode premieres tonight on ABC at 10/9c.