Taraji P. Henson is still lighting up the magazine circuit with her fabulous covers. And this time, she’s giving us life on Glamour magazine’s October 2015 issue. Peep her cover and find out what she dished on inside…
One of fave YBF chicks is gracing a new magazine cover. And like all the rest, she’s bringing the fabness.
“Empire” star and EMMY nominee Taraji P. Henson has been slaying magazines coversleft andrightthis year. And for her latest cover, her stunning beauty was captured in a trio of covers for Glamour magazine’s October 2015 “Game Changing” issue.
Taraji, “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez and “American Horror Story” actress Emma Roberts are featured on multiple covers of the new issue. TV’s new power trio is opening up about their game changing roles in television.
The 44-year-old actress (who celebrates a birthday on September 11th) is in the running for Best Lead Actress in a Drama and if she brings home the win, she will land in the history books as the first African-American woman to win the award. The awards will go down on September 20th, just three days before the premiere of season 2 of the highly successful hip hopera.
In the cover story, the siren “Empire” actress talks about her role as the feisty, ex-con Cookie Lyon, how the hit FOX series is changing the game, being a single mother in Hollywood and more.
Below are the highlights:
GLAMOUR: We were hooked on Empire from the pilot. How did you find out you had scored the Emmy nod?
TPH: [Before the nominations] everybody kept saying to me, “Have you cleaned your mantel off?” I said, “Everybody chill.” I knew the day was coming, but I didn’t watch the nominations. I was getting ready to go to work. The phone rang, and it was my manager. I was like, “OK, he’s clearly not calling with bad news.” [Laughs.]
GLAMOUR:Why do you think people connect so strongly to Cookie?
TPH: She is everybody’s alter ego. She crosses cultures. [Last year] we went to Paris and screened the pilot for a thousand people. Lee Daniels [the series’ co-creator] brought me onstage. The audience stood up on their feet and clapped. I cried because, for so long in Hollywood, I’ve been told that black women don’t do well overseas, that they can’t open a film overseas. That moment for me was the best moment of my life. That’s better than any trophy, any award, any nomination. You know how they say music can heal the world? I feel that way about art in general.
GLAMOUR: Cookie’s got major confidence. How do you deal with scrutiny when the spotlight’s so hot? When you’re in a rut, how do you get your mojo back?
TPH: I don’t think about other people. They are not walking in my shoes. They are not paying my bills. What makes me happy is when I do what I like to do, for me.
GLAMOUR: The show takes on homosexuality and mental illness, and Cookie speaks frankly about her views on both. How do you handle the pressure of saying un-P.C. things before nearly 17 mil- lion people each week?
TPH: Cookie is the reason I drink. [Laughs.] She uses every emotion inside of me. She uses everything. When I saw the scripts, I was nervous, but then I realized that if I based everything in her reality and her pain, people would empathize instead of judge.
GLAMOUR: Because Empire has the largest African American cast in a network drama on TV, people see it as a sign of racial progress in Hollywood. Do you feel like things are changing?
TPH: I think we are making strides in Hollywood. It’s the world that I’m more concerned about.... My son grew up in a pretty much all-white situation and went to the best of schools. I saw the change when he got older and started to get that life is different for him [as a black male]. He came home crying, like, "Why do white people hate us? Why can’t we fix this?” This can be fixed. I’m gonna try my best to make change.
GLAMOUR: Speaking of your son [Marcel], you’ve shown firsthand that you don’t have to forget about your dreams when you become a mother. How did you make it work?
TPH: When I got pregnant in college, people said, "This is it for her." But I did not stop. I never missed a class. I was in the school musical when I was six months pregnant—we just made the character pregnant. My mother swears Marcel came out doing the dance; he had learned the choreography. When I graduated, I carried my son across the stage. I wanted to be an actress; I moved out to L.A. with him. People were like, “Are you crazy, moving to California with your son?” My father was like, “Leave him home.” I said, “I can’t leave my son at home.” [And eventually] my father said, “That’s your baby. That’s your blessing. He’s going to be your strength.” And you know what? He was. I didn’t have time to go to the club to "network.” That’s B.S. No business deals go down at the club. So I didn’t get caught up in that. I had a mission. I had to make my dream come true. If I didn’t, what was I proving to my son?
GLAMOUR: How has being a mom—and being in the spotlight— changed your ability to date over the last two decades?
TPH: I’m a mother first. I’m not trying to bring this guy and this guy around. I’m raising my son, and he’s gonna respect women, and that starts with me. [Dating] in the spotlight—I have to consider my son. I don’t want to make it uncomfortable for him when he goes to school with his peers. And I have to answer to my mom too. And my 91-year-old grandmother. I can’t be like, “Nothing, Grandma, I didn’t do it; it’s just a [picture of a] girl that looks like me, I promise!”
GLAMOUR: What are you looking for in a partner now? What do you feel like you’ve learned about dating?
TPH: I’m not twentysomething. I’m not trying to find myself—I know exactly who I am and exactly what I want. And I don’t want a fan. I want a man who understands me, who challenges me, who calls me on my sh-t instead of letting me get away with it because I’m supposed to be a star. I want a best friend.
GLAMOUR: One last question about Empire: When do you feel the most like Cookie in real life?
TPH: When I don’t feel fear. Fear will cripple you, fear will kill you, fear will make you believe you’re not worthy. After 17 years in prison, Cookie feels there is nothing to fear. She made it out alive. In her mind that’s how strong she is. We all have that strength inside us. We just have to choose it.
You can check out the rest of her interview here. This issue is on newsstands now.
Below, check out a clip where Taraji reveals her favorite body part, the best advice she’s ever received, which TV characther she would marry and more:
"Empire" (and Cookie) returns to FOX September 23rd at 9 pm ET. We'll be watching...
Photos: Steven Pan via Glamour magazine