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Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Her Toughest Role Ever

Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Her Toughest Role Ever

Taraji P. Henson looks stunning in a shot from Playboy‘s Winter 2019 issue, available now.

Here’s what the 48-year-old actress had to share with the mag:

On if she’s ready for her upcoming wedding to Kelvin Hayden: “I’m still learning how to be ready. Every day I’m learning how to be better in a relationship. I just found out, in our therapy sessions, that men have fewer words than women. I didn’t know that. They run out of words. Because women are emotional, we want to talk through everything. Of course we have more words; we’re the communicators. Kelvin, he thinks he’s a comedian. Anytime we’re in a disagreement or I’m like, ‘We need to talk about this,’ he’ll look at me and say, ‘Baby, I done ran out of words.’ He’s joking, but I’m starting to accept that it’s true.

On moving to LA with her infant son after college: “In your 20s, you’re not scared. You feel invincible. I was an artist with a dream, and now that I was a mother I felt like it was do or die. Being a parent is what kept me focused. I didn’t go to the clubs, even though they say that’s how you’re supposed to network. I have common sense, and nothing about that seemed right to me. What networking happens at a club where people are inebriated? Tell me, what contracts are being signed? That’s stupid. I knew what I had to offer; I just had to find somebody to hear me. Anytime I felt scared, I’d call my dad.”

On her toughest role ever: “I can already tell that the hardest one I’ll ever do is playing Emmett Till’s mother, and I haven’t even finished reading the script yet. John Singleton wrote it, and it’s just brutal. Every page is making me ugly-face cry. What’s so daunting is you know the outcome. The way John has magically and beautifully written his story, you get to know this kid, and that makes it worse. Why did they have to do this to a child? What threat was he that they had to mutilate him like that? What’s so hard is that it gets me thinking about Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and that nine-year-old kid in Brooklyn a white woman accused of touching her ass. That’s what got Emmett Till killed! We’re in 2018 and that shit is still happening. I don’t know if people are ready for this movie. I don’t even know if I am.”

For more from Taraji, visit

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Photos: Micaiah Carter/Playboy
Posted to: Taraji P. Henson

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  • brightcrystal

    Love Taraji! I will be glad when Empire is over the show had a great start but has lost its way