Taraji P. Henson Talks About Her New Movies
By LaPorsha Lowry -- Black College Wire   

Taraji P. Henson, a North Carolina  A&T alumna, is best known for playing Yvette in “Baby Boy.” She is now co-starring with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which opens Christmas Day. "Not Easily Broken," based on the T.D. Jakes book, is slated to open in January.

[Editor's note: Henson also attended and graduated from Howard University. She has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.]

In "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Button is born in his 80s and begins to age backward. She plays Queenie, who is the mother of the title character. She discussed the movie and her soaring career in a teleconference interview. 


Q: What is your experience when it comes to preparing for the role of Queenie, who is essentially the mother figure to Benjamin Button in the movie?
A: I had to research the decades of the character’s life and the different events and moods that happened in her life. I also had to research aging patterns and how people age. The motherly stuff came natural because I am a mother myself. 
Q: How did you feel about this role when you read for it?
A: The movie had a great concept and I thought that it was tailor-made for me. I didn’t think I would get at first because I thought that they wanted a big name. They actually wanted me for the role originally, but I still had to audition.
Q: How was it working with such A-list actors as Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett?     
A: It was a dream-come true. I saw myself here years ago as an A-list actors acting alongside other A-list actors. It was an honor to be in such great company.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in making the movie?
A: The prosthetics were tough to deal with. Having to sit in the chair while they put all of the makeup and stuff on was strenuous, but I just sat there without a break until they finished. I think if I had got up, I would not have come back.
Q:What do you think about Tyler Perry’s usage of majority-black casts in his movies? [Henson was in Perry's "The Family that Preys.]
A: We need him in Hollywood because a lot of people would not be working if it were not for him. 
Q:You have played a variety of roles so far in your career. How do you go about choosing roles or what roles you want to audition for?
A: I don’t judge the characters that I play. I like to find the “why” in them. I like to find out why they are the way that they are. I definitely see a side of me in every character. I continue to pull from life experiences, but there is definitely there is acting involved. I lost my father before filming the movie, so that taught me that death is inevitable. Live your life and don’t worry about it. 
Q:: What are the new projects that you are working on?
A: Yes, I am starring in “Not Evenly Broken” with Morris Chestnut, which is an adaptation on the novel by T.D. Jakes.  I’m also starring in “Hurricane Season.”

LaPorsha Lowry is a contributor to The Register, the North Carolina A&T State University student newspaper, which originally published a version of this article.

Posted Dec. 15, 2008