Taraji P. Henson is on the cover of Monarch Magazine for June and did a spread. In the cover story they asked Taraji about the role of black actresses in Hollyweird:
When asked what she thinks of the film industry today and the availability of nonstereotypical roles for black women, Taraji says she doesn’t buy into all the hype. Always being the extreme optimist, Henson believes there are a lot of great roles out there and has never been one to “turn up her nose” to any role. “I don’t judge characters because they are based on real people and there is a reason why that person is the way they are. Honestly, if you think about it, no woman wakes up and aspires to be a whore. But, because of life’s circumstances they have ended up that way. Regardless, it is my job as an actress to portray that role, not judge it.”
Ultimately, there is no role too tough for the free-spirited Henson to play. From her role as a pimp’s pregnant girlfriend in “Hustle and Flow” to the career oriented, high acheiving, sales professional in “Not Easily Broken”, she has transitioned flawlessly between the characters. Her portrayal of “Queenie” in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” even had the moviegoers believing it was possible to love such an ugly, odd-looking baby. That carefully crafted portayal led to an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. “I know several actresses who have been locked into a certain type of role because directors think that is all they can do. I think that is BS … I know I can do anything. Acting is my craft; it’s what I studied and what I do. Just give me a dialect coach like they give to other actresses and I will have you believing anything.”
What is missing in Hollywood is a “black Meryl Streep” despite the fact that there are plenty of talented black actresses. Hens0n says there is no reason why she or Sanaa Lathan shouldn’t be able to fill that role.
We second that, Taraji.