NEWS: The 11 Best Emmy Nom Reactions
The role -- a true breakout that earned her a Primetime Emmy
nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series this year -- saw the actress strip down all the layers of outlandish, broad comedy that she
became known for and play a soft-spoken, makeup-free nurse in the extended care
for the elderly of a Long Beach, California hospital. Ortley was still funny,
but tonally, she was something new for the actress.
“Not only is the style of acting very different for me, the
look of the character is very different from anyone I’ve ever played,” Nash
says. The series requires her to go makeup-free, only wear her natural hair -- often curly and tucked into a bun -- and don pink nurse scrubs.
She’s often on the fringe, a witness to the antics that
happen in the ward. “My character is sort of a window into this world, she
doesn’t really have those bigger moments for herself,” Nash says. (Watching the
actress keep a straight face during a season one episode, “Nightshift,” as Alex
Borstein’s drunken character navigates nurse duties is a testament to the power
of holding back.)
Even though Nash did not win the Emmy, she’s still grateful for the recognition from her peers. “To have the opportunity to do [the series],
number one, I thought was such the blessing,” Nash says, “but then when you add
being acknowledged for it, it becomes a whole different thing.”
The series will return for its final season, a six-episode
run, on Sunday, Nov. 8. The actress promises that it will end on a high note,
with just enough wiggle room for a last-minute renewal. “The good thing is,
just in case there’s a change of heart, we leave it in such a way that the show
could come back,” Nash teases.