Nilla Watkins has been characterized as an intelligent patrician with strong vulnerability, and a (sometimes) volatile, (intermittently) quirky, quality. She has often been described as a young Kathryn Hahn meets Tea Leoni in "Spanglish" with a slight pitch in the direction of Leslie Mann, as well as the tonality of Diane Keaton.
An honors graduate of Brown University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Nilla’s professional acting career began upon completion of New York’s renowned Master Teacher Maggie Flanigan’s Two-Year Meisner Conservatory Program. She also apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, trained in Shakespeare, and studied improv with Lewis Black, as well as at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
In NYC, Nilla’s primary focus was theatre. Some of her favorite starring roles occurred in the following original productions: Sanctuary Theatre’s, We Are Now; the LAByrnth Theatre Company’s, Kinky Cow and Bosia (performed at the Apollo Theatre); Write Act East Side’s, The Devil’s Bride (performed at the Richmond Shepard Theatre); and Lenis Guess’s, Applaud The Devil (performed at the Arthur Selig Theatre).
Since moving out to LA, she has been cast in supporting roles in three feature films: as a loud-mouthed hooker inWalk of Shame, starring Elizabeth Banks (watch Nilla featured in the film's trailer here); as a terrifyingly tortured pysch ward patient in The Vatican Tapes, starring Micheal Pena; and as a very demanding, "very LA" coffee shop customer in the Academy Award-winning film, La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (in her scene, she insisted Emma Stone's character show her the actual ingredients on the physical box of the almond milk carried by the cafe.)
Also, since moving out to LA, Nilla has landed roles in several television shows, including: a series regular role in an ABC Family/Freeform Untitled Sketch Comedy Pilot; a recurring role in ABC's The Muppets; a co-star role in the CW's Jane the Virgin (read EW's article here buying Nilla's guise as "Nurse Helen"); and a co-star role in CBS's The Young and The Restless.
Nilla volunteers with the Embracing the World Foundation, enjoys yoga regularly, and loves her dog, Moksha.