WHERE ARE THEY NOW: JACKEE HARRY (LILY MASON) Part #2
AWT: Any story you wished you could have played that you didn't get to?
JH: No, I got everything I asked for. I got a club, I got to sing, I got to be sexy and gorgeous and glamorous all at once. And they knew I wanted to be sexy and gorgeous and glamorous. So, they did right by me. They did everything. I couldn’t have had a better time with them.
AWT: What do you think Lily is doing now?
JH: I have no clue! I don’t know what she’s doing. I never thought about it, but it is a good question. Lily’s got to be retired from her old life. She can’t still be… I mean can she? I don’t know, but she’s gotta be retired from all of that.
AWT: After Another World, you went on to star on 227, where you earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. What can you tell us about that experience and the delightful character of Sandra Clark?
JH: What happened was I just got the part and it was supposed to be another short part. Seven shows out of 22. I only had 7 and then I was done. I went to the set, and did the pilot, which was the very first show. I started doing my lines and Brandon Tartikoff, the late great Brandon Tartikoff (Head of NBC), he called downstairs and said ‘Put her under contract.’ I signed a contract two days after we started shooting the pilot. I just signed it, I had no clue that it was going to become anything. At the time, I was doing two movies in New York and Another World and a play, so my professional life was going very well. So this just took off without me even thinking about it. I was not too happy about it, because it took me away from New York. I was happy and married, but ended up getting divorced because I was having to go back and forth between L.A. and N.Y. and having a long distance relationship just didn’t work out. It was bittersweet. It was great financially and professionally, but personally it just dissolved my life and I became a workaholic!
AWT: How did the role of Sandra Clark evolve?
JH: With the character of Sandra Clark, I just went what they gave me. What could I do? I didn’t know anything about it. You know, I didn’t have a clue about what a soap opera was in the beginning. I didn’t know what a soap opera was and I didn’t have a clue who Sandra Clark was so I just played it by ear, to be honest with you. I just wanted to be funny and to get another job. That was my intent. That’s how it started. I didn’t intend to become all of that!
AWT: After 227, you went on to Sister, Sister where you not only starred but also stepped behind the camera to direct. What can you tell us about that experience?
JH: I just had this, I call it a gift, where I could see camera shots. When I got into Sister, Sister, I asked to direct. I became a member of the DGA which was no easy feat, especially for a woman. I had to get sponsors. I also was tested to (prove) I knew what I was talking about, and lo and behold, I did! That’s how that started. I wasn’t looking to do anything, it was just something I could do and once you begin to do it, you just continue to do it. I wasn’t really looking to be all that great shakes. It just evolved and even today, I can see camera shots. I can get a script and know where the camera is going to be so when I get there on set, everyone thinks that I’m so smart, but I can see what they’re going to do, I can see how much time it’s going to take. It really is a handy tool. I don’t like to let everyone know it because they’ll make me work harder!
AWT: What have you been up to these days? Where can your fans see you?
JH: I just did a short independent film called Knight to D7 about cancer awareness, about two young men who are great friends and dealing with cancer. I play the nurse to the ailing cancer patient.
JH: I’ve got a movie I’m working on with ABC Movies, starring Christina Milian and that’s going to be fabulous. I’m playing her mom which is something I’ve evolved into. I didn’t play moms all the time, but I’m loving it! I’ve got a DVD of a play that I did, The Clean-Up Woman, that’s coming out in early September 2010 on DVD.
JH: On the business side, I’m a spokesperson for a company called GBG which is a nutritional liquid vitamin company, they make a vitamin called 10-IN-1. I just became their spokesperson in April. (Go to: www.GBGJackee.com for more information.) I’ve got a lot of philanthropic things I’m doing with the Women’s International Center and the National Congress of Black Women. So I’m kind of busy!
AWT: Would you like to say anything to the fans of AW?
JH: I’m sorry that we’re still not on the air. It was a great show. It was a great time and a great learning experience for me. It had the biggest African-American storyline for anybody and I salute Procter & Gamble and the producers for doing that, because, at the time, I didn’t get it, I was just working, but I see the significance of it now, historically. The soap opera has taken a beating now because people have so many other things they can watch. Hopefully we can bring some form of a soap opera back that includes all the different cultures, so we can see their lives.
To keep up with all of Jackee Harry's projects, visit her official website, www.Jackee-Online.com, and her Official Fan Club Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/jackeeharry!