Nilla Watkins doesn’t play an Ivy League educated lawyer, she is one! Her unparalleled work ethic which drove her successfully through Brown University and UVA Law School has also served her to land roles in several studio feature films and network television shows. Nilla is fully focused on her true passion, acting, and brings her A+ talent, drive, and high standards of excellence to every job. Nilla was raised in Connecticut, and with her credentials, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she has been characterized as an intelligent, patrician with a strong vulnerability. What IS surprising is that she also reads as eccentric, zany, offbeat, and left-of-center with strong comedy chops. While she has been described as Gen Y’s Blythe Danner -- her Ivy League/East Coast quirky affability is all her own.
Since moving out to Los Angeles, Nilla has been cast in three major studio Feature Films (in three incredibly varied Supporting Roles): as a very demanding, "very LA" coffee shop customer in the Academy Award-winning film, La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling; as a loud-mouthed prostitute in Walk of Shame, starring Elizabeth Banks (watch Nilla featured in the film's trailer here); and as a tortured psych-ward patient suffering from trichotillomania in The Vatican Tapes, starring Micheal Pena.
Nilla has also 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; and two co-star roles in the CW's Jane the Virgin (read EW's article here buying Nilla's guise as "Nurse Helen"), and in CBS's The Young and The Restless.
In New York City, Nilla’s primary focus was theatre. Some of her favorite starring roles occurred in the following original theatrical 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). She also performed the lead female role of Annie in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the Brecht Forum.
An honors graduate and active member of Brown University’s Theatre Program, Nilla’s professional acting career began upon completion of New York’s renowned Master Teacher Maggie Flanigan’s Two-Year Meisner Conservatory Program. She has also apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, trained in Shakespeare, and studied improv with Lewis Black and at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. She holds a J.D. (with honors) from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Nilla volunteers with the Embracing the World Foundation, enjoys yoga regularly, and loves her dog, Moksha.