Taraji P. Henson lands the cover of Angeleno Magazine’s newest issue. And we have her spring cover. We also have the season 2 trailer of “The World’s Most Expensivest Sh*t”, starring rapper 2 Chainz. More inside….
As “Empire” continues to slay tv ratings and become the “IT” show of the season, Taraji P. Henson’s notoriety is steadily climbing. As it should. And now, she has landed on yet another magazine cover, serving as only she can.
Along with shocking us every week on the hit FOX series, the 44-year-old YBF chick lands the cover of Angeleno magazine’s March 2015 Spring Fashion issue. And she’s serving, per usual.
In the cover story, Taraji Penda (which means love and hope in Swahili) talks about her character Cookie Lyon’s style evolution upon entering the real world after doing a 17-year bid in prisonand how her style compares and differs to Cookie’s fashion choices. The Addicted star also shares how she brings Cookie to life on the small screen.
The Washington D.C. native then gets into how she almost decided to not pursue acting after she was rejected from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She said she decided to go into the sciences to pursue an electrical engineering degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. But, once she failed pre-calculus, she realized her true passion was acting and went back to chasing her ultimate dream.
Strongly in her corner, she said her father urged her to follow her heart, so she transferred to Howard University to study acting. Although she gave birth to her son during her junior year, that didn’t stop her grind. She ended up graduating from Howard with a degree in theatre arts. Once she got her degree, she packed up and she and her baby boy moved to L.A.
So glad she stuck to what she loves!
Below are the highlights of Taraji speaking on her most powerful character to date and more:
On why she loves her character Cookie Lyon:
“I love her. She’s the truth. That’s why people feel her so strong and deep,” says Henson. “Yes, she sold drugs. And, yes, that’s one of the worst things anyone could possibly do. But Cookie did it to feed her family. She also manned up, did her time and broke the cycle of poverty. … Now if she were rich and selling drugs, that’s another matter entirely.”
On Cookie’s fashion:
“She’s been in jail for 17 years, so she starts out in a time warp. We get to see her have not only a character arc but a fashion arc too! Like Cookie, I love color, and I love prints; but I wouldn’t wear all prints everywhere… and then add the major shoes… and then the makeup and hair… and then the jewelry! My personal style is a more restrained chic,” says Henson, who admits to sharing Cookie’s fondness for animal prints but not for wearing fur. “I don’t judge, but if I feel fur, I want it to be attached to my dog who’s licking me to tell me he loves me.” And that bling? She laughs. “The designers Usually show me three trays of jewelry, and I just put it all on. Cookie didn’t grow up with anything, she wants everybody to know she’s rich.”
On starring as Cookie Lyon:
“I know I’m good at playing characters that could be stereotypical, but I make them real. And I do that by playing why they’re the way they are. Then an audience can understand them, maybe even like them.” And how does Henson feel about Cookie? “I love her. She’s the truth. That’s why people feel her so strong and deep,” says Henson. “Yes, she sold drugs. And, yes, that’s one of the worst things anyone could possibly do. But Cookie did it to feed her family. She also manned up, did her time and broke the cycle of poverty. … Now if she were rich and selling drugs, that’s another matter entirely.”
On her childhood:
As an only child who was born to parents who split when she was young, she was was raised by her mother in a rough area of southeastern Washington, D.C. Her mom, Bernice Gordon, worked in a distribution center for a local department store; her dad, Boris, who played an important role in her life, was a maintenance man and freelance metal worker. “We never lived in the projects, but we were in the ‘hood, lower middle class, living paycheck to paycheck,” says Henson.
On failing pre-calculus while pursuing an electrical engineering degree:
“And it wasn’t even calc! And I had two tutors! How was I going to be an engineer!” she says. “But then I Figured, so what? Deep down I knew I still wanted to be an actress. I had an English class in the theater arts building. I’d see all those crazy and eclectic people, and I knew I was one of them.”
On her dad’s inspirational words:
‘”How do you expect to catch fish on dry land?’ he asked me. The lines, the wisdom, the truth… I put a lot of my dad into Cookie,” she says.
You can check out the full article here.
If you haven’t heard, GQ has a video series featuring 2 Chainz where he travels to find and explore the world’s “most expensivest sh*t.”
For the forthcoming season 2 of the highly anticipated web series, the Atlanta rapper brings a few friends along as he explores insanely expensive items. Rapper Big Sean, singer Jhene Aiko, rapper French Montana, L.A. Lakers baller Nick Young and producer Diplo all make appearances for the new season. Peep the trailer above.
Photos: Angeleno magazine