Empire Actress Taraji P Henson covers W magazine’s Pop Issue. Lensed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. For a split second I thought this was Janet Jackson, that pose and outfit looks very familiar to me but it still looks fabulous! Come inside for more pics and read what the 44-year-old had to say about fans not liking her character Cookie, turning down the role of Precious and more!
On being offered a role in 2009 film Precious: “And I was like, ‘Well, I want to play Precious—because that’s the role in this piece.’ Lee thought I was nuts. I was like, ‘Look, they turned Charlize Theron into a monster! I could be this girl!’ When I think about that now, it was such a Cookie move.”
On considering Empire after first turning it down: “And I wanted to finally make some money,” he told me. “You don’t make any money doing independent films, even if they get nominated for the Oscars and the world says you’re a genius. Doesn’t pay the bills.”
On why her character is such a hit: “They want Cookie. They see her heart. They see her intentions. And they love her style—her style is 17 years behind the fashion curve, which makes the clothes a character on the show. As Cookie grows, you’ll see her fashion grow. And people love that—she’s a work in progress. The only thing that never changes is her spirit: To me, Cookie is living, breathing, walking truth.”
On people not liking Cookie: “When I hear that Cookie is a bad representation of black women, I don’t get involved. Maybe Cookie makes you uncomfortable because she reminds you of yourself. People miss the bigger picture when they start judging.”