Dinner and A Movie Star 7

Q & A with Movie and Television Actress Taraji P Henson, Chatting about Her Life and New Film, “Proud Mary”

Would you mind sharing a little background 
with our readers on how your career started?

My professional acting career started when I landed the role of Leslie on “Smart Guy.” Then, in 2001, I got my break in movies playing Yvette in “Baby Boy.” 

Your career seems to always include 
television and movie roles simultaneously. 
Do you prefer one medium to the other?

I love acting, but my heart is just a little warmer for the movies. Film gives you more time to focus on the work and let it breathe.

How exciting was it to play one of my all-time 
favorite roles of yours, genius mathematician Katherine Johnson in last year’s “Hidden Figures?”

With Katherine Johnson, I got to play a real hero, and I will be forever grateful for that journey. The pressure was great too because I wanted to make her proud.

What was it like working with 
”London Has Fallen” director Babak Najafi?

I was so happy that I got to play my first action part with Babak as my director. We really connected and want to reteam in the future.

Did you have to prepare physically for 
”Proud Mary?” From the trailer, it looks 
like a pretty intense shoot.

I worked out and trained with the gun. And I loved it!

Who did you enjoy working with the most on 
the set of “Proud Mary?”

I love the whole movie process. Actors, of course, but everyone on set is a master of their craft, and I love to see how the whole process comes together. It was an honor to work with Danny Glover.

What is the next role you will be taking on 
either on the small or big screens?

2018 is a big year for me on the big screen—”Proud Mary” (Screen Gems) opens on January 12, “Acrimony” (Lionsgate) opens on March 30 and “The Best of Enemies” opens in the fall. I also do a fun voice in “Wreck-It Ralph 2” this year, so I’m staying pretty busy!

And with everything you have going on, 
do you ever get any downtime, just to hang 
out with your girlfriends?

In my downtime, I love to go to an island. My last getaway was to Jamaica. It was amazing!

Don’t forget to catch Taraji P Henson playing a mobster/hit woman in her upcoming film “Proud Mary,” hitting theaters January 12.