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Taraji P. Henson Says Life Before ‘Empire’ Was ‘Quiet Success’

Taraji-P-Henson-Stars-Attend-2015-Summer-TCA-_vw4N3D9Fc6l*”Empire star Taraji P. Henson opens up in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar about her iconic role on the hit FOX show, her personal style influences, and what life was like before landing the award-winning role.
“It was quiet, it was a quiet success. I could still live,” she told Harper’s Bazaar about life before “Empire.” “Now it’s like … ”
Co-star Terrence Howard said that her character, Cookie, was set to be an icon.
“I was like, ‘Huh?’ Then I got on Twitter and was like, ‘You’re right.’ I’ve seen babies dressed up like Cookie, men dressed up like Cookie, dogs dressed up like Cookie,” Taraji said. “But you have to be into drag. If you’re not, it may not come off right.”
Henson tells the publication that Cookie is modeled after her late father who “had no buffer.”
“He spoke the truth,” she said. “It’s heroic because in this society we have been trained to be politically correct. Political correctness is b*llshit. If I ask you a question right now, the first thing that comes in your mind is the truth. But we’ve all been trained to breathe, digest the question, and manipulate the answer. Cookie doesn’t do that.”
When asked what side of herself do people expect get to meet, Taraji or the Cookie show? Henson replied:
“It’s hard,” she says. “But I’m a woman now; I have a kid who’s 21. I’m not sensationalized; I’m not all into the celebrity. This is a job. I love what I do, but I am clear it is a job.”
“I have a lot of Cookie tendencies that I cannot act on,” she says, adding with a sigh, “You know, I’d go to jail.”
Henson admits she’s come a long way from her earlier days on the scene, crediting rap icons for her over-the-top style.
“It took me a minute to get on the chic bus. I was coming from the era of Lil’ Kim and Mary J. Blige, you know, ghetto fabulous. I came from nothing, was deprived all my life, so when you get money, you go big!”
Surprisingly, Henson is currently single, but describes her ideal man as: “He is funny, has personality, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He needs to be confident in who he is, confident to let me be who I am. And let me shine, you know? My light is only going to enhance his light.”
You can read the full article here, and don’t miss Taraji’s return as Cookie when Season 2 of “Empire” premieres September 23 on FOX.

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