Taraji P. Henson Talks Saying Goodbye to 'Empire' and Wedding Planning Amid Coronavirus Pandemic (Exclusive)
Like many women across the globe, Taraji P. Henson was set to walk down the aisle and wed the love of her life this summer, however, the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a change of plans for her special day.
“Well, everything, it's halted. It was supposed to be June, but it's complicated with corona,” said Henson, who previously told ET her original wedding date was Apr. 4, 2020. “Corona has everything [up in the air] because now you're talking about a date that you had planned that you might not be able [to stick to.] It's a mess. It's a mess, so it might be in the backyard.”
“It's probably going to be a backyard wedding,” reiterated Henson, who got engaged in May 2018. “It would break my mother’s heart, [after] all these years, she had been wanting to see me get married and [now] it’s got to be virtually?”
While wedding upheaval is no doubt a huge emotional challenge in her personal life, Henson is also dealing with a milestone in her professional world.
Her popular series Empire wraps up on April 21 and she admits it’s “hard” getting ready to put her character, Cookie, behind her.
“She won't go away. I was about to say goodbye to her like, 10 days ago and she's still here,” Henson said. “We are finished. I think Cookie did great. I'm leaving her in a great place in the hearts of everyone. What else can you do with a character like that? She's iconic -- she's gonna live long after we're all long gone. People will still talk about Cookie and when I started off on this journey of acting, that's the type of work I wanted to do, because I grew up studying the likes of Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Diahann Carroll.”
“A lot of them have transitioned and I still look to their work,” she explained. “Bette Davis was long gone before I got into college, so this is woman that I don't even get to see in present day -- her work is so legendary that I'm drawn to study it. And that's the type of work I've always wanted to do, because those are the type of actors that I studied and looked up to.”
Empire aside, fans can catch Henson in her new Netflix movie, Coffee and Kareem, which is streaming now. She plays a mom whose 12-year-old son (played by Terrence Little Gardenhigh) sets a plan in motion to scare off her new boyfriend.
“It is so easy for me to play a mother role,” said Henson, who has a 25-year-old son, Marcell Johnson, from a previous relationship. “I have a great rapport with kids anyway. I love kids -- especially when they're good, well-mannered kids. Terrence is just a consummate professional, so it was very easy to work with him... He was really wanting to learn and be great at what he does, so every time I would open my mouth, he was like a little sponge."
“I've never done action-comedy, so that was fun, because I got to kick ass and be funny,” Henson also said about the role. “I really, really like it. I moved to LA to do comedy -- 20 odd years ago. That's what I was coming to do."
Of course, it will be a while before Henson can sink her teeth into more comedic roles. Like the rest of the world, she is currently in self-isolation, admitting that, while she’s doing well, she does have days which are best described by a video which recently made the viral rounds, showing a young girl fed up with being cooped up in her house.
“Today’s a good day,” Henson said. “I have some days where I feel like I’m gonna crack up. I know you've seen that one video where that girl is like, ‘I hate this house!’ That’s how I feel some days.”
Henson says an average day in isolation for starts with waking up with the sun, meditating, grabbing a bite to eat then getting into her infrared sauna blanket.
“After that it's probably time to eat again and then I'll try to catch up on something on television, answer a million emails,” she said. “And then if DJ D-Nice is having Club Quarantine, I might get some bottle service and step on in there for a bit. Then I wind it all down to do it all again the next day.”
See more on how celebrities are coping with self-isolation below.
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 19:42
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