‘There’s the FBI Way and There’s the Simone Clark Way’ Says Niecy Nash-Betts of Her ‘The Rookie: Feds’ Role



Premieres: Sept. 27

Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT

Who’s In It? Niecy Nash-Betts, Frankie Faison, Felix Solis

What’s It All About? Niecy Nash-Betts returns to her character of Simone Clark, the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy, who was introduced in an action-packed Rookie two-parter last spring. Clark, a whip-smart former guidance counselor, successfully schooled a new unit of special agents on thinking outside the box. Just like The Rookie, this spinoff is a perfect marriage of comedy and drama. Here Nash-Betts shares some insights.

This role just seems like it was penned directly for you. How comfortable are you in Simone’s shoes?
Man, I love Simone Clark’s shoes. I love that she is fun. I love that she’s funny. I love that she dances to the beat of her own drum, but at the same time she is intentional and driven. I love her. I love her so much. … I had not seen this woman before. With less than 1% of African American women working for the FBI, I had not seen the story through this lens. I love that we find her in her second act, that her dream, though deferred or delayed, still manifested. So she’s making a life choice, a different career choice at 48. That’s the time when most people are counting the days to their retirement. She’s like, “No, let me begin again.”

Where do we pick up with Simone?
We pick up with her graduating from Quantico and waiting for her assignment, where she’s going to ultimately be put. She graduates and heads to Los Angeles to start her new life.

What about that stigma she has about being the worst new training agent the FBI has ever had?
Yeah. Well, you know what the thing of it is, she still doesn’t listen. She’s still allergic to listening. She feels like there is more than one way to get a job done. I say there’s the FBI way and there’s the Simone Clark way, because she feels like, not that I’m trying to buck the system, but why would we do that when we could just simply do this?

How much does the series explore her personal life?
You’re going to get to see a lot of her personal life. We are unpacking the relationship she has with her father, Cutty, played by Frankie Faison. Eventually, you will get to see her children come home from college. You will get to see her start to explore her love life. Simone is an equal opportunity dater. It’s going to be an interesting ride in that regard. One of my first love interests is a surprise guest that will … it’s going to surprise everybody.

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