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4 reasons why Lorraine Toussaint loved being on Any Day Now

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: August 1, 2023, 9:36AM    Tags: Any Day Now, Lorraine Toussaint, Rene Jackson

Any Day Now is a classic late '90s show about race, women's equality and other social issues. Lorraine Toussaint played Rene Jackson on the series, one of the show's stars, and loved every minute. From 1998 to 2002, fans of the series witnessed the ups and downs of Jackson and Mary Elizabeth's interracial friendship, lives, careers, and relationships.

Lorraine Toussaint, born in Trinidad and Tobago, began her career in theatre before shifting to film and television in the late '80s. She had supporting roles in films such as Breaking In (1989), Hudson Hawk (1991) and Dangerous Minds (1995). When she wasn't on the big screen, Toussaint could be seen in television shows like Crossing Jordan, Law & Order, Saving Grace, and the viral Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.

The actress loved many of her roles, but Any Day Now was a little bit more special than others. Here are four reasons why playing Rene Jackson meant a lot to Lorraine Toussaint.

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There was less pressure being on Lifetime.

"Lifetime is very involved with this show. But ultimately, they trust Nancy Miller's vision. I don't think that would happen at a network. They would have futzed this thing into oblivion by now," Toussaint said during an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer in 1999. "There's a certain network pressure that doesn't exist at Lifetime."

According to the actress, the show's creators and actors had more creative freedom on cable than on network TV. That created a less stressful production environment because although they had to focus on keeping views up, the show's direction pretty much stayed the same throughout the series run.

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It allowed her to revisit emotions during the civil rights era.

In a 1999 interview with The Canadian Press, Toussaint vividly described a time when she saw her mother crying on her birthday. Her family was still in Trinidad and Tobago. She saw her mom crying while frosting her birthday cake. Toussaint couldn't understand why, so she asked, "What's the matter?" Her mom said, "A very great man was killed today." 

Her mom was referring to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Even though she was on the island at the time, the civil rights movement still impacted Toussaint's life.

Since the show is centered around the interracial friendship of Mary Elizabeth and Toussaint's character Rene Jackson, being on the series allowed her to revisit those emotions. 

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She loved working with Annie Potts.

"I am the head, and she is the heart," Toussaint said, referring to her co-star Annie Potts and her role. "As the show progresses, you will see Rene move more from her head and into her heart space, struggling with relationships. But you'll also see M.E. move from her heart to her head."

Both actresses portrayed two strong women while being strong women in real life. 

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Toussaint loved the strength of her Rene Jackson role.

Rene Jackson is a character with power. She's a Washington lawyer who returned to her hometown to take over the law practice of her deceased father. Jackson has the dream career but didn't take Mary Elizabeth's route, which was to be a stay-at-home wife and mom, so she struggled a bit with the thought of not having children.

Both characters were powerful in their own way. Whether being a stay-at-home mom/wife or a career woman, Toussaint thought Any Day Now did a great job showcasing women in different lights.

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