New empire. Same woman. Taraji P. Henson is a boss, and don’t you forget it! On the latest episode of Essence’s Yes, Girl! podcast, the actress and Essence March/April cover star sits down with hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn and dishes on everything from saying goodbye to her iconic character “Cookie,” her new haircare line, the importance of talking about mental health within the Black community and references the late NASA mathematician Catherine Johnson.
ON AGING AND BEING REAL ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH: “I know we all are enamored and we’re in love with how Black don’t crack, and we all loved the youthfulness and yes, I’m pushing 50…that’s great, but let’s be real. There are things that happen to us physically, and we get caught up in the pretty aesthetics of it all, that we really never talk about perimenopause, menopause. That’s mental health right there. Depression, lows…Yes, we look good, but I had to say something…”
ON BEING HOOD…AND STUDYING SHAKESPEARE: “…When you come to me for my advice, I’ve got to tell you from my experience—I studied, I trained. You think that I just woke up one day and was able to give you Catherine Johnson and turn around and give you Sug, and then Cookie, and then Proud Mary, and the list goes on? I went broke putting myself through college. The reason why I know how to pick a script is because I studied literature. I’ve read some of the most amazing literature known to man, so I know the structure of a good script. Not that every script I pick is the best structurally, but I know I can do something to it to make it pop.That’s because I studied the craft. I’m a hood girl. I came from the hood, but I was doing Shakespeare at 12…”
[Photo Credit: Kwaku Alston/Essence Magazine – Video Credit: Essence via YouTube.com]