Julie Klausner chats with Jackée Harry, you probably know her from 227, Ladybugs, and being fabulous.
Julie Klausner: Hello Jackée! Thank you for joining me for this interview. What are you doing this very moment? Please give our readers a sense of your current setting. You don’t have to tell them what you’re wearing, though that would certainly help.
Jackée Harry: Picture it: Beverly Hills. 2012. Yours truly has just settled into bed wearing a raw silk negligée and grabs her Kindle, longing to discover the 49th shade of the Fifty Shades Of Gray, while sipping on a delicious glass of Perrier-Jouët when suddenly, the phone rings. Enraged by the interruption, an agitated Jackée begins this interview. How’s that for my setting?
JK: Absolutely perfect! And I’m sorry to agitate. So, you are a hilariously funny actress. Who did you watch growing up and wanting to emulate? I know you’re a Lucille Ball fan.
JH: Yes, Lucy was an inspiration, as well as Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (for whom I was named after).
JK: Any female comedians or comic performers you’re a huge fan of? Besides me, obviously?
JH: There are so many amazing comediennes out there! Some of my faves are you, of course, along with Jenny Johnson, Rachel Dratch, Lisa Lampanelli, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, Ellen Degeneres, Luenell, Joan Rivers, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Tina Fey.
JK: How did your career change after you won your Emmy?
JH: I added a few zeroes to my net worth, and discovered which of my accountants were genuinely honest people. None of them! In all seriousness, it was a career highlight, but a lonely experience for me.
JK: Do you find that people want you to be as sassy and man-hungry as Sandra from 227? What are some important differences between you and Sandra? Both of you have gorgeous breasts.
JH: Of course, people expect me to BE ‘Sandra.’ That’s absolutely ridiculous; we are NOTHING alike. Sandra kept a little black book, whereas I rely on my little Blackberry.
JK: Are you addicted to anything?
JH: Yes, being faaaaabulous! But I’m taking it one diamond at a time-- I mean, day.
JK: That’s a sound philosophy. Tell me about the new projects you have on your horizon! I know you’re working on a new sitcom, First Family for Byron Allen’s production company?
JH: Yes, I taped the pilot for that series with Gladys Knight, Marla Gibbs, Kellita Smith, Christopher B. Duncan, and John Witherspoon. I’m also doing a play with Marla, Let The Church Roll On, and just shot a film with Dan Garcia and Clifton Powell. My very own product line may be hitting stores soon also. I’m not ready to reveal what type of products yet, but you’ll be one of the first to know.
JK: I love products! Speaking of Byron Allen, have you ever seen an episode of Comics Unleashed?
JH: YES, and that show is a Godsend! Before then comics were so… leashed?
JK: Agreed. What is it like working with Gladys Knight?
JH: Working with Gladys is perhaps one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in my career. She’s humble, reverent…a true legendary talent. Not to mention, she travels with an entourage of gorgeous men she calls “Pips.” What’s not to love?
JK: What makes you laugh?
JH: When funny thangs are heard, endorphins are released within my brain and the zygomatic and risorius muscles found in my face contract, resulting in a stunning smile. Then my vocal cords vibrate uncontrollably forcing a burst of air out of my mouth, which produces a “hahahaha” sound.
JK: I love a technical answer. What’s your cocktail?
JH: Grey Goose… chilled.
JK: How often do you Google yourself?
JH: I never Google myself, but I Bing myself at least twice a day.
JK: Brilliant. What websites do you visit before noon?
JK: What’s the most scandalous thing you’ve done today alone?
JH: I plead the fifth. Let’s just say it involves a strappy pair of Christian Louboutins, whipped topping, and solar panels.
JK: That’s very green! Tell me something people wouldn’t generally know about you.
JH: I ALWAYS wake up looking fucking fabulous. Without failure.
JK: Of course. Can you share a particularly tender memory of working with Rodney Dangerfield?
JH: The entire experience of working with Rodney was great. I miss him dearly.
JK: Who, besides your son, is the love of your life?
JH: All three of my husbands, and my Emmy, first name- Edwin.
JK: You have one of the longest and most diverse careers of anyone working—what advice would you give to people who are in between jobs and don’t want to give into feeling too blue or inactive?
JH: Keep the faith and cast all of your troubles upon a full sleeve of Golden Oreos.
JK: Golden Oreos! Interesting. Moving on—when you tweet that you’re getting your #CardioGroove on, what does that generally mean? The Elliptical? Sex?
JH: Aren’t they one in the same, darling?
JK: Have you ever slept with one of your fans?
JH: Hell no! I always have them leave before dawn.
JK: What’s something you’d love to do in your career?
JH: Idris Elba.
JK: Thank you Jackée! I love you—you are my absolute favorite!
JH: I love you MOST, Jules. Thank you! xox
This article was originally published July 2012