Taraji P. Henson recently revealed that the disgraced Harvey Weinstein once kept her from getting a starring role in a film. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the Academy Award nominee said he snatched a role in the comedy St. Vincent from because of her race.
“Basically, I don’t think he saw my box-office appeal. What I heard – I didn’t sit down with the man – is that he wanted someone who was known internationally, so they got Naomi Watts.”
The role of Daka, a mother who is a stripper, was actually written by Theodore Melfi with Henson in mind. Even though she lost the role, it led her to score an even bigger opportunity. Meeting Melfi for St. Vincent led to him casting her in his 2016 film Hidden Figures.
“That’s how God works,,” she said. “He had a bigger plan.”
Weinstein’s team has released a statement denying that the decision to give the role to Watts had anything to do with race.
“Simply because someone says something does not make it true, and the continuous drumbeat of any Hollywood star who believes that he or she can gain greater reverence by invoking Weinstein’s name is just getting tiresome,” read a statement issued to Vanity Fair. “The fact here is that Ms. Henson is a terrific actor and that is why she starred in five films connected to Weinstein. To make this about anything other than that is shameful.”
Henson doesn’t hold any grudges against Weinstein, though.
“I never wished anything bad on the man,” the 48-year-old said. “I was just, like, ‘OK, he’ll see. That’s another person who’ll have to eat crow. How would you like yours? Fried? Toasted?’”