Taraji P. Henson Cried After Realizing Cookie Lyon Broke Down Culture Barriers

September 9, 2015  |  

September is an exciting month for Miss Taraji P. Henson. Not only will the vibrant beauty be returning to the small screen to reclaim her role on “Empire” as the beloved Cookie Lyon, but the vibrant beauty is also up for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress. In a recent interview with Glamour, Henson discussed her cross-culture success, maintaining confidence while in the spotlight and dating as a single mom.

On cookie breaking culture barriers:

“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.”

On maintaining her confidence:

“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.”

On dating as a single mom:

“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!’”

Read Taraji’s full interview here.

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