Wisecracking Emmy winner Jackee Harry is rapidly becoming Atlanta’s queen of comedy. She has a recurring role as Bert Belasco’s cougar mom on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” currently shooting here south of the city in the Screen Gems studios. She’s also on the TBS original sitcom “Are We There Yet?” and she’s just recorded a guest voice role with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer for the TBS and Adult Swim fave toon “Family Guy.”
This Sunday, she co-stars in “Brother White,” a world premiere movie on the Atlanta-based GMC (formerly Gospel Music Channel). She plays Veena, the choir director of the fictional downtrodden Atlanta house of worship, Divine Faith Apostolic Church, whose savior appears in the form of a white pastor from Los Angeles and his family. Veena’s opening salvo while giving Pastor James White (David A.R. White) the once over? “When we’re done playing ‘The Waltons,’ would someone mind telling me what’s going on here?”
Alas, exteriors of Atlanta’s skyline and the Silver Skillet on 14th Street are the only bits of “Brother White” actually filmed here. Harry says she’s been looking for the right project to do with the Atlanta-based gospel channel for a while.
“This is a comedy with elements of drama and an opportunity to have fun,” Harry says of her role in “Brother White.” “That combination was very appealing to me. There’s an evolution for Veena in the course of the movie for her and her sons. She has a son who’s going down the wrong path and there’s a positive message there.”
Jackee also gets to briefly showcase her comedic singing ability as the church struggles to throw a fundraiser starring gospel legend Bebe Winans. “I do just a smidge of singing,” she says laughing. “Just a little. But we had Bebe Winans. I’m thankful I didn’t have to do that job. I could stay in my own lane!”
She also loves playing the sassy sexpot cougar mama on “Let’s Stay Together” shooting in Atlanta. “I like young men but they’re too much work,” she says. “Y’all are too difficult for me! But I sure do like playing a cougar.”
When she’s not on set, Harry’s been known to check out the comedy scene at Café 290 in Sandy Springs. “But I gotta make sure I’m dressed right,” she says. “I can’t just sit there. They always wanna pull me up on the stage. I don’t mind being funny 24/7 but looking lovely 24/7? That is a task!”
“Brother White” premieres on GMC Sunday night at 7 and 9 p.m.