The only two Black actresses to have Emmy awards for Best Supporting Actress came together to reflect about lessons learned in Hollywood. Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jackée Harry sat down for Of the Essence and one of the things they touched on was keeping their egos in check.
Ralph said her mentor, Virginia Capers, taught her a valuable lesson that has stuck with her her entire career.
“Be as kind as you can, for as long as you can, to as many people as you can because the same a**’— and she said it—‘you kick today, you may have to kiss tomorrow.’”
She said someone who worked on the set of Moesha turned out to be one of the biggest producers in entertainment.
“That has just been so good for me because how many times has the young person that has brought me coffee turned out to be the producer in the next five to 10 years? Mara Brock Akil,” she said.
Jackée Harry couldn’t say the same. While starring as Sandra Clark on 227, she said she wasn’t the nicest to people on set. She shared that a young Kenya Barris felt her wrath during those days.
“I wasn’t talked off the cliff. You know who used to bring me my scripts for 227 to my door and deliver them? Kenya Barris,” she said. “I wasn’t nice to him. See, look at me now. I ain’t lying, and he reminded me of it. He said, ‘Do you remember?’ And wait—ego—I don’t remember, but it was the ’80s baby!”
Take a look at a clip for their chat below.
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