[The jury at my audition for drama college] said I can’t act. They didn’t let me in. And so my friend at the time, Candice, was a heavy science and maths girl, and I thought, ‘Whoa! You know science and maths and all that stuff, girl?’ And she was going to take up electrical engineering and I said, ‘OK, me, too.’ Yeah, well, I failed all the maths. I’m not wired like that. But I can play one hell of a rocket scientist.
Taraji P. Henson by Nicolas Moore for Marie Claire, October 2017
I love black people. I love telling stories. I want these little girls to study me like I studied Meryl and Bette Davis and Carol Burnett. I want them to study my work, because I put a lot of work in, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
Is it getting better for women, black women? I don’t know. It’s been great for me! I own six properties, I’m out of the hood, and my son don’t know the hood. Now, have they put all the zeroes on my check that I deserve? That’s the question, but not even for me because I don’t write the checks. I just keep working hard, knowing it will come.
What prompted this? Did you have a terrible experience on a plane of some kind? Who likes TSA? I mean, if I’m gonna dream big, you gotta go for it. If I wanna own my private island, who flies commercial to their own private island?
I’m an old man. It’s the same thing earlier when I say I’m shy. You have to get to know me to break past that, but I’m goofy too. I take my job seriously and that’s what they see. I don’t pull a lot of punches. When it comes to the work, it’s about getting it done by any means necessary, and nothing matters between action and cut.