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Exclusive Interview with Famous in Love’s Niki Koss

Twenty-four-year-old Niki Koss plays Alexis Glenn on Famous in Love. Alexis is the character you can’t help but love, despite all of her eyebrow-raising behavior. I got the chance to talk with Niki about how she originally got her part on Famous in Love, Alexis’ new venture, what’s up next for Alexis and more. Keep reading to see her answers!

I wanted to start by asking you something about the beginning of Famous in Love. I don’t think I’ve ever read what your audition process for the show is like. How did you get involved in the project originally? 

Oh, that’s a good question. I actually originally auditioned for Georgie [Flores]’s character, Cassie.

Oh. Really?

Yeah, right. I remember being obsessed with the script and I really liked the character of Cassie a lot, but I remember reading it and I read the character Alexis and I was like, “Ah, damn. Whoever gets that role is so lucky. That’s such a fun character.” Then I got called back for Alexis. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I was shocked because it was written that she’s supposed to be a lanky, tall model type, which is not me [laughs]. I was so shocked. But I went in and I was like, “I’m not letting anyone else get this part. I just can’t. I’m too in love with it.” I was so intense, now that I think about it. I went in with sunglasses on and by the time the test came, it was just in front of the studio and the network. I came in with my sunglasses and my water bottle and I was like, “Hang on, I need a second.” I drank my water, took my sunglasses off and was just totally channeling Alexis and they were cracking up. They loved it.

Originally, you never read for Alexis? You just read for Cassie? 

Yeah, I was very surprised. That’s never happened to me before.

That’s so interesting. Speaking of Alexis, let’s talk about season two. At the end of season 1, the last thing we saw was the success of her sex tape. Now, in season 2, there’s a time jump and she’s working with Tangey’s mom on a reality show called Alexalicious. Did the writers tell you what happened during that time jump or were you left to fill in that white space yourself? 

Pretty much all I knew was that post-sex tape Alexis started killing it career wise. And getting a lot of, I don’t know if it was positive, but a lot of notoriety. That’s all they told me so I was kind of left to fill in everything else. As far as the reality show goes, that was originally supposed to be Tangeylicious and Tangey passed, so Ida took it to Alexis after the sex tape.

Right. But what do you think pushed Alexis to work with Ida, especially considering Alexis knew how horrible she was to Tangey, especially if you didn’t have someone explicitly saying, “Hey, this is what pushed Alexis.”

We did kind of talk about it a little bit and I think what we kind of came up with was Alexis was at such a desperate point in her career. In season one, her identity was confused in a lot of different areas. She was America’s sweetheart. She was coming out as bisexual or as non-labeled as she likes to call it [laughs]. But everything was in a very precarious point and the second that sex tape happened, it was almost like her saving grace and she got a taste of being back in the spotlight, having her career flourish as it once did. And it was like a drug and she needed to capitalize on it. She did it without thinking of possible ramifications.

Would you ever want to have a reality show like Alexalicious?

Not ever.

Not ever? 

Never, never. When I first heard Alexis was doing a reality show, I was so excited because I knew it was going to cause so much drama, but I was torn at the same time because I don’t watch any reality TV. I’m so not a reality show person. It was a really big challenge, actually, trying to get in that headspace.

Did you do any research, like watching The Kardashians or any of The Real Housewives just to see what it was like? 

Oh my god. I hate to admit this, but I bought the first season of the Kylie show. Oh, what’s it called?

I have no idea. [laughs] Wow. 

I don’t even know what it’s called. But anyway. Kylie has…

A spin-off?

Yeah. My roommate and I watched one episode together. She’s like, “Oh, I’ll watch it with you ’cause I know you don’t like this.” After one episode, she was like, “All right, well you’re on your own now.” [laughs]

That’s funny. Speaking of Alexalicious, the biggest thing going on for Alexis is that she decides to reveal Jordan and Nina’s secret on her show, or rather she didn’t really fight the decision that was made for her. How do you think Alexis felt when Ida whisked her away and told her what was happening?

I think it’s a really huge moment for her. I think that moment is what determines how the rest of the season goes for her. It’s such a crossroads. She’s going to learn so much about why that was the wrong decision, which is going to be a greater journey for her down the line. But I think it’s the decision she had to make at that moment that she definitely did not want to make. She felt like she didn’t have a choice. You know, contracts are contracts at that point. She was so far in. But she definitely made the decision, in the end, to upload that last tape there. I think she’s very impulsive and she has to learn how to think before she acts. That was one of her weaker moments.

At the end of episode three, Tangey’s basically done with her and I’m sure the rest of her friends are going to feel that way as well. Right now, Alexis doesn’t really have people on her side. If you can, tease how Alexis is going to win back her friends?

That’s a position she’s never had to be in before. It’s really hard for her to figure out how to get out of it. That struggle is interesting. I think it’s going to be interesting to watch because here’s someone who has never had to try and win the affection of her loved ones back or had to beg for forgiveness before and be vulnerable in that way. She has to turn a new leaf and find that side of her.

Right. Can you clarify something? Is Alexis still part of Locked after she was kicked out of that press conference or was that her being fired from the movie altogether? 

That was just her not being allowed into the Facebook Live. Okay, she still has to go back on set with that bomb having had been dropped.

Yeah, that’s kind of where I was going. Since she’s still a part of Locked, how is that going to play out when she gets back, considering she basically just blasted her boss’ affair with one of her co-stars to the entire world? 

It’s going to go down pretty much exactly how you would imagine it to go down. Dramatic and really awkward.

Yeah, I can only imagine. 

But you know, being on set and making movies, you saw a little bit of the ramifications of Rainer’s absence with Alan talking about how 200 crew members would lose their jobs [if he didn’t come back]. It definitely affects everyone when someone is off their game in making a movie. It’s definitely going to affect everyone and it’s going to affect the whole set.

I know we’re running out of time so my last question is just for fun. We’re called Talk Nerdy With Us, as we all have an inner nerd. What is something you nerd out over?

Movies.

Do you have a favorite genre or time period? 

Oh man, that’s so hard. I have directors I love. But I’ll be watching a movie and just really nerd-out over the shots, you know, every little aspect of it. I don’t want to watch a movie with me basically [laughs].

Famous in Love airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on Freeform. You can follow Niki on Twitter and Instagram

Written by Bryna Kramer

I could have followed in my father's footsteps and become a doctor. But there was just too much good television on.

Contact: [email protected]

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