As No Good Deeds prepares to be released in theaters on September 12, Taraji P. Henson has been doing her media rounds. She recently chatted with TheYBF about making the anticipated film, which she is a producer of. She also spoke on how the main characters were initially supposed to be for white actors, how she had to convince Idris Elba to take part, her son and trying to raise a young black man in a time when so many are losing their lives at the hands of police. Here’s what she had to say:
How No Good Deeds Was Originally Intended For White Leads
The script was originally sitting at another studio and even though they don’t specify race I think it was written for white leads. Will brought the script to me because it was just sitting around and he was like, ‘I think you would be great in this. We gotta find you a lead. It should be a white guy.’ So we went down the list of all the incredible white guys, but the schedules didn’t work out.
Think Like A Man came in the interim and we put that to the side and we did TLAM and I was like, but I want to do No Good Deed! Then Will said it’s hard trying to get a white lead so why don’t we make it two black leads? I had already worked with Michael Ealy. Tyrese. So then it was like…who haven’t I worked with? Gasp! Idris Elba! And I went after him with a vengeance!
Trying To Convince Idris Elba To Take Part
Initially when I got the script and we decided it was going to be two black leads, we had Idris locked. But then time went on and he booked Mandela.
I understand as an actor that’s a dream role but, ‘Dude….You do realize you promised you were going to do this movie? I have a son about to go to college! I put this money aside so I’m gon’ need you to get it together. I’m a single mother…’
It was the best performance ever. One phone call and he was there!
Her Playful Banter With Elba
We have a banter and he knows how to push my buttons. I’m quick out the mouth! I’m slick out the mouth and he loves it! He likes to push my buttons. The first thing I told him, I said, ‘Let me tell you something Idris, I don’t care what you look like. You ain’t all that fine….
And I know all these women are like Idris! Idris! Idris! I said, ‘I’m not doing it!’
What She Tells Her Son Marcel, 20, About Dealing With The Police
I’m telling him to be aware of his surroundings at all times! I’m petrified! If something doesn’t feel right get out of there! Fortunately for him and us, I grew up in the hood. So I know what racial profiling is all about. So I’m scared. I worry about him and I put my hands on him while he’s asleep and I put my hands on his car and I say, ‘God, cover him.’
Growing Up With A Father Who Was Part Of Law Enforcement
First of all, my father was a cop. He was in the service. I grew up in a time where we called police officers “Officer Friendly.” They would come to the schools and they lived in the communities. Now it’s very, very different. You don’t see as many black cops anymore.
What She Thinks About Protests In Ferguson
When you have a bunch of people all packed in this little area, what do you think is going to happen? When every time you try to get ahead, it’s somebody there to push you back, what do you think is going to happen? What do you expect?
Check out her full interview with TheYBF here, and be sure to check out No Good Deeds next Friday.