Nikki DeLoach is the epitome of women empowerment. Besides being a loving and devoted mother of two, she is a veteran of the entertainment industry, with the track record to prove it. Since the beginning of her acting career, she has participated in a myriad of movies and TV shows, including the hit MTV series Awkward (as Lacey Hamilton), Reunited at Christmas (a movie she not only starred in, but also developed and produced), as well as many Hallmark movies such as, Love to the Rescue, Truly, A Dream of Christmas, and The Perfect Catch, to name a few.
These days — twenty-six years since her first acting job — DeLoach is not planning on slowing down. Having recently wrapped the new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Love Takes Flight, she is now focusing on What We Are, a virtual community she co-founded with the aim of uniting women from different ages and backgrounds and giving them a common platform to share their stories and hardships.
It is inspiring to meet someone who reminds us that, as women, we can have it all. BELLA recently had the opportunity to catch up with DeLoach and talk about her recent film Love Takes Flight, her stellar career, and how — as a star — she discovered that the sky is not, in fact, the limit.
Your new film Love Takes Flight recently aired; could you tell us a bit about the film and your role in it?
The seed of inspiration for this movie came from a viral video of a young girl and her mother who run into an older gentleman in the grocery store. He had lost his wife and was really struggling with how to go on. He made this connection with the little girl and mother and a friendship was born. He attributes this friendship to giving him purpose to go on with his life. Hallmark sprinkled romance in there with my character, Dr. Lizzie Beauman, who is the mother to the little girl. Lizzie is an OBGYN, turned administrator, so she can have more time for her daughter who has diabetes. The older gentleman’s son comes into town and that’s where the romance begins!
Besides recently starring in Love to the Rescue and Love Takes Flight, you also developed and produced Reunited at Christmas. How would you describe the experience of producing in comparison to acting? What new challenges did you face as a producer?
I have always wanted to produce. I actually worked at a production company years ago and absolutely loved it. I love taking an idea, developing it, and seeing it all the way through to the final product. There are definitely different challenges that come up in prep, filming, and in post. For example, in prep you are trying to put together the pieces that are needed to make the best movie, but you have to do it within a certain budget. You fall in love with locations that you can’t get or actors that you can’t get. While filming “Christmas Reunited,” our snow machines kept breaking down or running out of snow. Everything would stop because they wouldn’t be able to get more snow for five hours. When you are filming an entire movie in three weeks, you don’t have that time to give up, then it becomes about figuring out what we can do so that time is not wasted. It can be very tricky! As an actor, you are not usually exposed to any of these problems or conversations, and it’s most certainly not your job to fix it, but I really love the challenge. I love the teamwork that goes into figuring it all out and just making it work.
What would you say is the most important factor in order for a movie to be successful?
It all begins with the story, the script. If the story doesn’t work, nothing else will.
Are you planning on producing more in the foreseeable future or do you see yourself more as an actress?
I see myself as both. There will be some projects that I am hired just as an actor and other projects where I will play both roles. I find joy in all of it, and I’m always grateful for either opportunity. We have some fun stuff on the horizon, I am really excited about it.
So, you have starred in and produced films, what is another milestone in your career that you want to achieve? Any new year resolutions for 2019?
For 2019, I wanted to sell my first script and I did alongside my writing partner. We are so thrilled about it. Over the last few years, I’ve worked really hard to learn the art of writing. I am a newbie for sure and have so much to learn. But, I am not afraid of a challenge or hard work, and I LOVE to learn. I’ve always loved writing, I just needed to be able to have the time to really study it with a teacher. When I was pregnant with my second child, I began that process. There has always been a calling in my heart for it and I am following the call. Down the road, I would love to direct!
Tell us about your blog What Are We. What is the idea behind it and what do you hope to achieve?
My friend Jen Dede and I wanted to create a community of women where we celebrate our beautifully, unfiltered selves through telling our stories. I believe that storytelling – in all its many forms – can be a great connector and a way to grow empathy and compassion in all of us. We wanted to highlight all the amazing women in our lives and women that we meet along the way by giving them a platform to share their story – not just the pretty, happy stuff, but the painful, and often heartbreaking experiences in our lives.
As a mother, actress, producer, spokesperson, philanthropist and so much more, how do you manage to keep a work/life balance?
I don’t, I fail every day at that! There are some days where I manage to parcel out myself in a very balanced way, but those days seem few and far between. It’s very hard. Someone always gets the short end of the stick and usually that’s me and my self-care. I really am trying to get better at it, but at the end of the day, I think it’s more important to be gentle and compassionate with oneself. If I know I’m doing the best I can, then I have to know it’s enough. What I will say is knowing your priorities are very important. I have to work, but at the end of the day, my kids come first. It’s also super important to listen to your body. I am en route back from an insane two days in NYC of press and work with The Alzheimer’s Association. I am beyond exhausted and my body is yelling at me to rest. So, when I get home for these next few days, I have to make sure to get to bed early and really take care of my body. Listen to your body, listen to your intuition. It will never fail you.
Finally, at BELLA we believe in the idea that beauty is defined by YOU. So, what is beauty to you and how do you stay as beautiful as you are, both inside and out?
That is so kind of you to say, what a generous compliment! Thank you so much. I believe that vulnerability is beautiful. I believe that purpose and living a life of service is beautiful. I believe that laughter and humor is beautiful. I believe that kindness is beautiful. And in my experience, there are a lot of really beautiful people in the world.