Sitcom legends team up for a dramatic ‘Pose’ surprise

These sitcom vets are putting a pose.

Janet Hubert (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Anna Maria Horsford (“Amen”) and Jackée Harry (“227”) will seem collectively — for the primary time ever — in a surprise collision of comedy queens for the Sunday, May 16, episode of the FX drama “Pose.”

In Sunday’s episode, airing at 10 p.m., an HIV-positive Pray Tell (Billy Porter) ventures again dwelling to western Pennsylvania — after greater than 20 years away — for an emotional reconnection along with his estranged mom Charlene (performed by Horsford) and his aunts, Bible-thumping Latrice (Hubert) and a extra supportive Jada (Harry). Hubert instructed The Post that, after getting solid, all three actresses have been shocked to find that sequence star Porter nonetheless felt a lingering connection to their early sitcom work.

“He said, ‘You all had a part of my life. You all had a part of my world, you were all part of my world going through all of what I’ve been through. You all held a spot in my life,’ ” Hubert recalled of the verbal group-hug they bought from Porter. “And we were so touched … We were on a Zoom read, and we were crying because he was so sincere in saying, ‘You all held a place for me’ at a time where he needed something.”

From left: "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actress Janet Hubert, "227" star" Jackée Harry and "Amen" alum Anna Maria Horsford.
From left: “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actress Janet Hubert, “227” star” Jackée Harry and “Amen” alum Anna Maria Horsford.
Everett Collection

Horsford went even additional about broader, significant connections made with audiences.

“You realize that your energy, and the words, and everything you do, it goes into all of these different homes and these different places, and you don’t need to have a clue,” Horsford added to The Post about their longtime fan base. “It’s what you’re supposed to do, because we, as entertainers, heal sometimes.”

Since their sitcom glory days, the trio has been busy: Hubert has lastly — and quite publicly — reconciled together with her former “Fresh Prince” nemesis Will Smith, whereas Horsford has saved a place in her coronary heart for her late “Amen” co-star Sherman Hemsley. Meanwhile, Harry has ditched comedy for drama in recent times. 

With the trio’s get-together this weekend, right here’s how else they’ve been connecting with viewers and colleagues alike.

Janet Hubert: “I call myself Joan of Dark”

Janet Hubert with Billy Porter in a scene from "Pose."
Janet Hubert with Billy Porter in a scene from “Pose.”
Eric Liebowitz/FX

“Fresh Prince” alum Hubert has a humorousness about her long-standing feud with sequence star Smith — in addition to followers’ response to it. 

“I call myself Joan of Dark,” the actress instructed The Post. “I’d been beaten to a pulp. I did not know that there was that much love for me.”

She stated she was shocked by the outpouring of assist from devotees after a much-anticipated “Fresh Prince” cast reunion on HBO Max final November, through which she and Smith met for the first time in additional than 25 years — and subsequently buried the hatchet.

“Yeah, it felt like Jesus forgave Judas, didn’t it?” she stated with a snigger, relating to the well-wishes she obtained from followers.

“I was, like, wow. The thing went worldwide. I had no idea that so many people cared so much,” she stated. “I really didn’t know.”

Hubert performed Aunt Viv for the primary three seasons of the 1990-96 sitcom earlier than departing the present in 1993 and getting changed by Daphne Maxwell Reid. Unbeknownst to the solid, she was in an sad, abusive marriage, she stated, which she saved bottled up and led to her personal change in demeanor. “I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking,” she said during the reunion. That led to on-set friction, most notably with Smith, who provided this mea culpa: “I can see how I made the set very difficult for Janet.” 

Janet Hubert, Will Smith and James Avery in an early promotional photo for "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
Janet Hubert, Will Smith and James Avery in an early promotional photograph for “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
NBC Studios/courtesy Everett Collection

During the particular, Hubert stated she “lost everything,” together with her “reputation” as a result of of what occurred. “And I understand you were able to move forward, but you know those words calling a black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death. It’s the kiss of death, and it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman in this business.” 

But Hubert instructed The Post that she is in a strong place now and comfortable to disregard any and all drama that tends to permeate Los Angeles.

“At 65, yeah, I’m good,” stated Hubert, who lives in Montclair, New Jersey, together with her husband, Larry Kraft. “My years of caring about all of the bulls – – t of Hollywood — I never did.”

Janet Hubert as Latrice, Billy Porter as Pray Tell and Norm Lewis as Vernon in "Pose."
Janet Hubert (far left) as Latrice, Billy Porter (middle) as Pray Tell and Norm Lewis (far proper) as Vernon in “Pose.”
Eric Liebowitz/FX

She even appears virtually celebratory about her laid-back East Coast, away from the glare of Tinseltown.

“I love being back here. I love where the sun rises, where people speak their minds and tell you to go ‘F’ yourself. We just don’t do that. We don’t do the star thing. I love it,” she stated. “I lower my very own grass. I take out my rubbish.

“It’s a regular life, you know? I love it — easy,” she added. “I do what I want now, and I don’t take roles that I don’t want to do.”

Speaking of recent work, subsequent up for Hubert will be a recurring role in Season 4 of Tracy Morgan’s TBS comedy “The Last O.G.” — which, in a well timed twist, additionally stars her new “Pose” BFF, Horsford.

Anna Maria Horsford: “This is gonna stand for something”

Pray Tell (Billy Porter) and his mother Charlene (Anna Maria Horsford) get ready for church in "Pose."
Pray Tell (Billy Porter) and his mom Charlene (Anna Maria Horsford) prepare for church in “Pose.”
Eric Liebowitz/FX

Joining this specific episode of “Pose” meant extra to Horsford — who performed preacher’s daughter Thelma Frye reverse Hemsley as opinionated Deacon Ernest Frye — than simply touchdown one other performing gig.

“Let me tell you what this show did to me. It brought up so many memories,” stated Horsford, now 73, who witnessed firsthand the devastation of the early days of the AIDS pandemic within the Eighties and ’90s, as depicted in “Pose.”

“I personally have lost more than a hundred friends,” she added. It was a very hard time — and doing ‘Pose’ brought all of that back. And that’s why it was really hard for me, without telling everybody, ‘Oh, I lost this one. I lost [that one].’ It’s still in your heart. Totally personal. Totally personal. And you become the witness to all of their lives.”

However, though the 1986 to 1991 sitcom “Amen” aired on a parallel observe as AIDS devastated the performing neighborhood Horsford knew, she stated engaged on the present was “the best time” and he or she managed to remain in contact with different solid members through the years, together with Hemsley (whom she known as “very bashful”), Clifton Davis, Roz Ryan and Barbara Montgomery.

Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford and Sherman Hemsley starred in the 1986 to 1991 sitcom "Amen."
Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford and Sherman Hemsley starred within the 1986 to 1991 sitcom “Amen.”
NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

She stated she even maintained a daughterly connection to Hemsley — who died in 2012 at age 74 — proper up to his funeral.

“I remember I went to the undertaker, and I said, ‘I want to give my father the best burial,’ ” she recalled. “You know, people believe what they see on TV. People believe what they see, and he gave me the respect as a daughter — as his daughter.”

Now, together with her “Pose” episode, Horsford hopes that this present additionally may have its personal impact on future generations.

“I was glad that I got a chance to do this, because this is gonna stand for something years from now, you know?” she stated.

Jackée Harry: “I was too young and sexy to be anybody’s MOTHER!”

Jackée Harry gets in some laughs with Nell Carter (left) in Season 5 of "227."
Jackée Harry (proper) will get in some laughs with Nell Carter in Season 5 of “227.”
©Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Harry is just about the final word sitcom queen of the trio.

The 64-year-old humorous gal appeared or starred in a string of comedies together with “Amen,” “Sister, Sister,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and, in fact, “227,” which launched her fan-fave trademark drawl — “Maaaarrrry” — when her character, Sandra Clark, greeted her brassy neighbor, Mary Jenkins, performed by Marla Gibbs.

Interestingly, she was not initially psyched about enjoying the adoptive-mother position in one among her largest hits, the 1994 to 1999 sitcom “Sister, Sister” — which starred real-life twins Tia and Tamera Mowry.

“I absolutely did NOT want to play Lisa Landry – I was too young and sexy to be anybody’s MOTHER!” Harry tweeted earlier this month. “But my sister eventually convinced me to take the part and I’m glad I did because it helped me realize how fulfilling it is to mentor younger women.”

She additionally echoed the sooner sentiments shared by Hubert and Horsford about connecting with followers over a tv or streaming service.

“It goes to show that when somebody connects with you and allows you to teach them (in person or even through the television screen), what they’re really giving you is the opportunity to show them that they’re not alone,” she wrote.

And as of late the Emmy-winning Harry, who early in her profession appeared in dozens of episodes of the daytime drama “Another World” within the mid-Eighties, has been trying out her extra dramatic aspect with initiatives akin to “Pose,” the 2019 Lifetime movie “Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta” and — in a return to her soap-star roots — a gig on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.”

“I’ve been waiting a long time to sink my teeth into some drama. It made me feel like all the years I’ve been putting in as an actor have come to fruition,” Harry told The Post in 2019.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.