Jackée Harry is living her best life. ET's Deidre Behar spoke with the 64-year-old actress about her new OWN holiday film, A Christmas for Mary, and she also talked about her popularity on Twitter, dating someone new and her iconic Sister, Sister role.
Interestingly enough, Harry told ET that she almost turned down the role of Lisa Landry on Sister, Sister because she didn't want to play a mom. The beloved series starring twins Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley lasted six seasons before going off the air in 1999, and is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to Netflix.
"I had to test for it, I didn't want to do it, I didn't wanna be a mom, I didn't," she admitted of the role. "I said, 'That's the end of my career,' because in those days .. it was like, your career is over, which is true back in the day. But I never thought people would like it and the difference being, of course, they were adopted and we were new parents and all that ... But then as we started doing it, I got very comfortable with it, and now I can be a grandmother, whatever, you have to transition. You can't just say, 'I'll do it because I'm an actor,' and then go home and be like, 'I don't wanna be a grandmother.' But I'm a grandma now, and I'm loving that in real life."
Harry said she and the Sister, Sister cast are definitely up for doing a reunion or a reboot, which she teased back in 2018.
"Definitely a reboot where they have their own kids, it makes sense," she said of the Tia and Tamera characters. "They're both so vibrant and I love them dearly, we're very close. I don't want to do something old."
As for her personal life, Harry told ET that she is currently dating a friend whom she's actually known for years. Harry, who's been married three times, shared what she's looking for in a partner.
"Trust, loyalty with women and security, meaning you could take care of me if something happens to me," she said. "Not just financially, but spiritually and emotionally, and that's more important when you've achieved a certain level in your career. Those things become tantamount, trust and loyalty and security, and women I think, security is our number one."
But she also said she will not move in with any future partners.
"We definitely can't live together," she said with a laugh. "No, they can live next door or down in their man cave which is separate from the house. I like my alone time too because I'm still working, thank god, knock on wood, and I require that solitude sometimes to get myself together."
Harry is more popular than ever these days, thanks in part to her hilarious Twitter account. Her recent NSFW tweet about the PlayStation 5 went viral, and Harry said a younger man who used to be the president of her fan club helps her with her tweets.
"Yes, it's my words but he knows the lingo better because he's younger," she explained. "Sometimes -- because, yeah, well, people don't want to admit it -- but somebody called me up and asked me what WAP was, and I said, 'Come on now, if I gotta tell you, it's too late.' But I'm talking about technologically, he knows all the stuff that goes with that because it is a lingo that catches on so you don't have to use too many words, so he's trained me that way, so now I know."
These days, Harry is busy promoting her latest film, A Christmas for Mary, which premieres Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. The film revolves around journalist Lena Jones (Morgan Dixon), who investigates the story behind a Christmas portrait her late grandfather painted of a mysterious woman. Harry plays her mother.
"I've worked with the company for a lot of movies and of course Vivica A. Fox, who is a dear friend of mine, and the director," Harry said about what drew her to the project. "I knew I'd be in an environment where I'd be appreciated and, you know, I would be able to do my best with the character ... and a chance to be a warm, fuzzy character, a mom to this young lady on screen which I didn't like before. I didn't want to be a mom before, I was sexy and everything, but now, since Sister, Sister is on Netflix, I'm back to being a mom again and its like, OK!"
As for if she's anything like her character in the film who is obsessed with the holidays, she said for her, it's now all about her granddaughter.
"When my son was little, I was Mariah, all I wanted for Christmas is you!" she said. "Now, I just want his little grandkid. He can go somewhere and then come back and get her so maybe I'm beyond Mariah Carey now."