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Naturi Naughton Talks “The Rub” in Lifetime’s “The Client List” (Loretta Devine Co-Stars)

Naturi Naughton Talks "The Rub" in Lifetime's "The Client List" (Loretta Devine Co-Stars)

Recall back in December we announced Naturi Naughton, whose last stint on the TV screen was in the NBC short-lived The Playboy Club, is slated to co-star in the upcoming Lifetime “dark” dramedy series The Client List, headlined by Jennifer Love-Hewitt. Naughton will also reunite with veteran actress and her Lottery Ticket co-star Loretta Devine.

In Client List, Naughton plays Kendra, who Naughton describes as a “young very optimistic sometimes naïve girl from Beaumont, Texas.” She’s  a “masseuse” at a Sugarland, TX spa called “The Rub”. Devine plays Georgia, the owner of “The Rub” and a mother figure to the girls at the spa. 

In a recent interview, Naughton talks more about her character and show’s themes. Naturi says that although the show is a drama and will go to the “dark side,” it will still be lighthearted, fun, and for “many different people.” She says her character Brenda “gets a chance to be quirky and totally different; Kendra is full of energy, she’s a nervous wreck whenever something is going wrong but she’s extremely positive.”

So how will audiences connect to a show about a high end prostitution establishment and the morality issue? Naturi says, “I think the ‘relatability’ of how these woman I trying to make it on their own and trying to find themselves and their own value is something that people can connect to and relate to; just trying to find your way in life, and I think a lot of people are struggling with that especially with the economy.”

Naturi did state that the show will test the moral compasses’ of the characters’ choices in their predicaments. However, she hopes audiences will see “the connection to the fact that everyone is struggling [with] financial issues … [and] may be put in some very challenging decisions and [have] to make difficult choices.”

Naughton added, “It’s going to basically showcase that everyone I think has a dark side….[and]…. there’s always something one can be ashamed of, and you can’t just put it all on the girls at The Rub.”

I wonder how many, especially our dear readers :), will embrace the show. The subject matter, mixed in with the fact that two African American women play significant roles in the sex work industry, may spark much polarizing debate.

I’m actually very curious to see it; it may be one of the very few TV shows I’ll get to watch regularly. The Client List begins this Sunday, April 8th at 10/9pm Central on the Lifetime network.

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I must say that Naturi and Loretta are ver skilled at their trade! Loretta is one of my favorites, and I like Naturi because she has been in roles that even though they are sex rolls, she shows the lighter, feminine side of black women. We are always portrayed to be very over weight, loud, and mean. The LMN could have more story lines for African Americans. The continuous Tia Tamera marriage dumb story is old..the story about the white women with the black basketball player who's married to a black women, then tries to get custody of the child from the white woman is old.There are no serious solid black roles. We're usually second or third, with something of a clown/funny character going on. Hollywood will not change until people change it, and I KNOW they are working on it!


This is an embarrassment to an industry, which should pride it’s self on televising material that is more enlightening, inspiring and thought provoking. If you could reach hundred of thousands of people what story would you tell? How would you do a due diligence to your fellow human being? Sadly this industry is blinded by the false perception that sex sells. Indeed it does, but our society will not embrace flat-out immorality. It needs to be wooed, seduced. It must be real, feel real. I believe telling the real story of sex workers will probably lend greater ratings as well as educated people of the dangers. Cut out the lies the fairy tales, the veil of glamor. This is disgusting it’s like watching someone do drugs everyday and come home to friends and family as if all is well. The writer’s suck they give no complexity to the characters and as some have already mentioned it’s really just a big joke, and the punch line is the young girls/women who watch this will believe that this is how it really is. That sleeping with countless men for money will leave you healthy, beautiful, admired and loved by your friends and family. Let’s all laugh, how hilarious.

Ginger L.

I live in Beaumont, Tx (born and raised) and I couldn't stand the accent the actors were using. They all sounded like Paula Dean! We don't sound like sweet Georia peaches either. I wish they would have done some research before assuming what we sound like. Turned my family off so we didn't watch it all. Got a little boring and the acting was 'meh' too.


Hmm, so lifetime, the channel with a lot of nevershouldhavebeenmadefortv movies that rarely ever feature characters of color (only the tia n tamera movie n fantasia's movie come to mind…and, oh wait they're remaking steel magnolias w black folk this time) brings us this….umm ok. Loretta could do so much better, they both could.sigh.

Ava (if its the one i think) we need affrm the television edition lol. Soon time


Tell me about it Miles. How original… NOT. But we are suppose to jump up and down and scream "Hallelujah, THERE'S BLACK FOLKS ON TV!" . But I am not surprised because the Lifetime channel has been a lifeline for lonely women. Come on now, I can't imagine what my lady would say if I said, "hey baby, let's turn on The HO's Client List and watch a half naked, deep cleavaged Lorretta Devine and the big red tantalizing lips of Naturi Naughton. They're in a new series in which they rub down a bunch of horny white guys". I am sure my lady would look at me like I've lost my rabid mind. But I can see a lot of lonely chicks eating this up. Come on now, it's a proven fact that 90 percent of back rubs led to sex. So sexy and horny and dreaming can be a satisfying night. They don't call it the oldest profession for nothing. Dreaming and distant love makes the heart grow fonder…. for days and days and months on end.

Miles Ellison

A show about hookers. With black women in it. How original. Take a bow, Lifetime.


Oh, would that we lived in a society not dominated by race and color consciousness both Naturi and Anika Noni Rose would have had a chance at their own series! I don't subscribe to cable, so you all will have to fill me in on how this turns out. Had Naturi not done that abominable remake of Fame, I'd say she should have been featured prominently in Smash (which I don't watch, even though, technically I'm a theater person). She'd provide some necessary flavor and color (figuratively and literally) to that otherwise Milquetoast toast program. The first time I ever saw Anika Noni Rose was at the Public Theater in 2003 or 04 and knew she was exceptional from then.
It's a sad commentary, that neither one of these two has had a chance to lead a show when we have the likes of Katherine McPhee and some girl I've never heard of on an ABC sitcom about an annoying roommate.


This type of show makes
it very difficult for legitimate licensed massage therapists.


I'll watch first then reserve judgment. Since it's on lifetime the characters/actresses won't be exploited as on a regular mainstream network (like ABC). Probably spend a lot of time on emotions and rationalizations.


This is not a slight against Naughton in any way, but I'm getting tired of seeing her typecast in these salacious roles. The only worse repeat offender is Anika Noni Rose who just HAS to get raped in every other project. There're two opposite sides of the same coin.

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