Marisol Nichols’ GCB (Good Christian Belles) character is nice one minute, naughty the next.
When Marisol Nichols was growing up in the western suburbs, Sundays were spent attending church with her born-again Southern Baptist mother. So she’s intimately acquainted with the premise of the new ABC series GCB (Good Christian Belles), in which she costars as a member of a group of churchgoing frenemies.
“People put on [one] face for church and have a different face for the rest of the week,” Nichols says. On the show, that concept comes to life, with characters “stabbing someone in the back while saying, ‘Bless her heart,’” she explains, affecting a Southern twang, “and using a prayer group as a way to gossip.” .
The show, which debuts March 4 in the time slot after Desperate Housewives, is based on the delicious premise that former high school mean girl Leslie Bibb moves back home to Dallas after an embarrassing divorce—and becomes the target of her former high school classmates, played by Nichols and Kristin Chenoweth. .
“It’s sort of like Sex and the City meets Desperate Housewives meets Steel Magnolias,” says Nichols. “There are so many funny one-liners, like, ‘Cleavage helps your cross hang straight.’” .
No overnight success, Nichols moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and has worked steadily as an actress but only scored a couple of truly memorable roles—most notably in 24 (in the show’s sixth season, she played counterterrorism expert Nadia Yassir), and Vegas Vacation. And then, “There’s a bunch of other, ‘That was you?’ [parts],” she laughs. .
This time feels different. “Bobby Harling, our coexecutive producer/creator [along with Darren Star] is like, ‘If we can’t make it in that time slot, we don’t deserve to make it,’” she says. “I kind of think it’s a no-brainer; it’s so fun, and I don’t think there’s anything like it on TV—it’s like candy.” And the costumes? “My God, the costumes! I got to put on just amazing Vivienne Westwood and Alexander Wang and Victoria Beckham...” .
Her seventh time at bat with a new show, Nichols is looking forward to a long run. “I’ve done a lot of shows, and this is the first one where I’ve felt so much love and support from the network,” she says. “Like when we’re shooting, and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s an Emmy moment.’ I don’t know how to describe it except that, for the first time, I can feel it.” .
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JSQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY; STYLING BY SOPHIA BANKS COLOMA; HAIR BY ADRIANA TREVIZO FOR ARTISTS BY TIM0THY PRIANO; MAKEUP BY ROBIN SIEGEL FOR SOLO ARTISTS. DRESS, ZSPOKE BY ZAC POSEN. SHOES, ALDO. EARRINGS, ISHOMYA SHARYA. RING, MCL DESIGNS. BAG, GIVENCHY