Don’t think we’ll ever get tired of looking at this lady.
Taraji P. Henson, a veritable star with an Oscar nomination under her belt, felt the pull immediately upon learning that Hanks wanted her for his new passion project, “Larry Crowne.” It’s the story of a blue collar big box retail employee who gets fired and heads back to junior college, but before she even knew that much, Henson had excitedly accepted the role.
“Apparently, Tom wanted me involved. So he called my manager and my manager called me and said, Tom Hanks really wants you to be in his movie and I said, sure,” Henson told The Huffington Post in a conversation Tuesday. “And my manager was like, maybe you should read the script first, and I was like, ‘No, I don’t have to read the script, it’s Tom Hanks, that’s a no brainer. I don’t care, I could play a tree or a rock, it’s Tom Hanks.'”
As it turns out, the “Benjamin Button” star didn’t have to join the scenery ensemble to get into the film; she tackles the role of Hanks’ next door neighbor, B’Ella, a working class woman who hits it rich when she and her husband, played by Cedric the Entertainer, win the lottery. Hanks’ character, the titular Crowne, isn’t so lucky as he struggles to stay afloat amidst house payments, schooling and a job as a short order cook. And while he’s a multiple Oscar winner who has played war heroes and detectives, among many other glamorous roles, Henson says his magic lies in his ability to be the everyman.
“He’s one of those actors who can just take on any role,” she said. “What I think is so great about him is, because he’s still a very down to earth, big, big superstar, it makes it easier for him to play these common characters, like regular people, and believe it, and not be Tom Hanks. Some people get too big and you can’t separate the star from the character.”
Congrats Taraji! You’ll always have a special place in our heart!