Niecy Nash as Desna
“Claws” star Evan Daigle said that Niecy Nash sort of became a mentor to him while filming the first season of the new TNT drama series. Doug Hyun/TNT

Newcomer Evan Daigle opened up about his experience working with Niecy Nash on TNT’s new drama “Claws.”

In a recent interview with The Advocate, Daigle — who plays Uncle Daddy’s (Dean Norris) boyfriend, Toby, on the show — revealed that Nash sort of became a mentor to him on set. “She was very mentoring toward me throughout the entire process, so that’s been really nice,” Daigle said of the Emmy-nominated actress.

Daigle added that Nash, who portrays Desna on the series, even gave him pointers about relocating to Los Angeles to explore more acting opportunities . “After I shot the last episode, she sat me down and asked me what my next move was,” Daigle shared. "She gave me some valuable advice about moving out here and how to start my career here. She’s a great person. She definitely has that Mama Bear aspect that her character has.”

Daigle had also nothing but praise for the rest of the ensemble cast, which includes Carrie Preston (Polly), Judy Reyes (Quiet Ann), Jenn Lyon (Jennifer) and Karrueche Tran (Virginia). Daigle told Bradenton Herald last month that being surrounded by such professional actors let him more relaxed and natural in his role, which made his performance better.

“I think for me, the best part of the entire experience has been the opportunity to work with such amazing actors,” Daigle said. “It's been an invaluable learning experience to be able to work with people who have been doing this for so long and are so talented.”

Although Daigle’s Toby is a relatively minor character, the actor’s water ballet scene in Season 1, episode 4 wowed a lot of fans. In fact, executive producer Howard Deutch praised his performance in the amusingly unconventional sequence. “The actor who plays Toby was so good in it,” Deutch said in a video interview. “When I went to the set I said, ‘Where’s Toby?’ because he was as good to me as those professional women who were in it.”

“Claws” next episode (Season 1, episode 7) airs on Sunday, July 23 at 9 p.m. EDT on TNT. Read the synopsis for the episode below:

“The aftermath of a nail competition finds Desna having hope that she can escape Uncle Daddy’s grasp. Also, Jennifer struggles knowing Desna’s dark secret; Polly discovers her maternal instincts; and Dean (Harold Perrineau) may have found his first spark of romantic love.”