Based off the trailer, it's clear the fall season of Awkward will be the most emotional yet as Jenna falls under Collin's questionable spell and discards her friends in favor of drugs, drinking and debauchery. This turn of events threatens to disrupt my favorite Awkward pairing as parenting becomes intensely trickier for Lacey in the ensuing episodes.
The storyline presented a uniquely odd issue for actress Nikki Deloach, who was pregnant with her first child for the entirety of filming the 10-episode conclusion to season three. And with her baby due any day, ETonline caught up with her to talk about the show hitting close to home, obscuring her ever-growing baby bump on screen and why Lacey might surprise some fans this season!
ETonline: Congratulations on your pregnancy, how have you been feeling?
Nikki Deloach: Look, I'm a very honest person. I'm not going to tell you it's been all roses and sunshowers. Being pregnant has been tough, for me, at least. I spent the first 5 months really sick and then the baby decided to drop on my sciatic nerve. It's beautiful and it's amazing when you actually think about what's happening; it's so profound. I've never been through something so humbling and empowering at the same time. But the actual process of pregnancy is not my favorite.
ETonline: How much of your pregnancy was captured on-screen?
Deloach: 7 months of it! Part of me is excited to see that, but most of me is like, "Oh no!" I put on so much water weight, it's not going to be attractive at all, and Lacey is so consumed by how she looks. The breasts have to be perfect, the waist has to be perfect, the clothes have to be tight, tight, tight. Bless our costume designer because clothing Lacey while me being pregnant had to be the biggest challenge for her! Especially when we got to month six of hiding the baby but being honest to Lacey's aesthetic. That was a challenge.
ETonline: Does Lacey end up carrying a lot of laundry baskets this season?
Deloach: Oh yes. So much laundry. She's doing laundry all the time [laughs]. In one episode I'm so covered with blankets and pillows the only thing you see is my head [laughs]. I have to say, the first 4 months were really difficult because I didn't tell people on the set I was pregnant. I mean, I would vomit in my mouth and swallow it. I know that's so gross, but it's true. Thankfully my brother-in-law works on the show, and he knew, so he would come pull me out of my trailer. The cast is such a family and we share our lives, so the hardest part was not sharing what I was going through.
ETonline: This will be a very dramatic season, was it odd to be going through that with your on-screen child while also pregnant yourself?
Deloach: Oh man, the Jenna and Lacey situation is tough this season. Lacey has to be a disciplinarian and here I am thinking, "One day I will very likely face all these situations with my real child." I don't think the answer is about avoiding that, it's about getting through the hard times together. It's not about the mistakes you make, it's about how you recover and that's kind of the message of this season.
ETonline: Were you surprised by how Lacey reacted to Jenna's behavior in any way?
Deloach: Not surprised in the sense that she actually steps up to the plate. When Lacey's back is up against the wall, she steps up because Lacey has always been the one who is there for Jenna. Even with her inadequate skillset, Jenna has always been Lacey's rock and she is not going to want to lose her daughter. She will do everything possible to keep Jenna healthy, happy and stable. Knowing Lacey the way I do, I wasn't surprised, but I think the audience might be. Lacey has failed in the past so they may realize that she actually knows how to be a disciplinarian. I love that we're showing that side of her this season.
ETonline: What are you excited for the audience to see this season?
Deloach: I'm excited for them to see Jenna and Lacey in a whole new light, but mostly I'm excited for the audience to see how the characters recover from the mistakes they make. I've learned the biggest life lessons from stepping in a pile of poop and figuring out how to get myself out of it. My failures have been my greatest successes in terms of life lessons, and I don't know where I would be without them. I think these back 10 episodes are some of the best we've ever done. The storyline is so real and honest to what teenagers are going through. True to the tone of the show, we can go to those dark places; we're not afraid of the tears, but then we pull you out of it with a great belly laugh. I think that's what the show does so, so well and continues to do in an incredible way this season. It's a shift in the heaviness of the stories we're telling, but we still manage to make it light-hearted.
Awkward premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.