On Sunday night, Taraji P. Henson took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama for Empire. But way before she was playing a formerly incarcerated crack dealer and a hungry businesswoman, Henson first caught everyone’s attention playing Yvette in 2001’s Baby Boy. She was the fed-up girlfriend of five years to Jody (played by Tyrese), and the mother of his son. And Henson had quite a few memorable scenes in the movie, including the “Let me smell ya d–k” scene.
It’s that specific scene Henson read in her audition tape, delivering lines with Tyrese more than 15 years ago when she was a young actress (in patchwork denim) trying to get her big break. It’s clear from the audition tape that Henson’s had tough acting chops for quite some time. The clip is almost comical to watch now, but it’s also awesome to see how far Henson has come and that she’s finally receiving the proper respect and dues.
When speaking on playing that classic character, Henson told the Los Angeles Times, “It felt like family. It didn’t feel like it was a job. I think that’s why Tyrese and I are still good friends to this day. We were like virgins to the game, together. It was the first feature film for both of us, and we were in leading positions. There were a lot of firsts — it was the first time being totally nude on film and pretending to have sex. We went through that together, and we met at a point in our lives when we had to connect and get through something together.”
Check out the audition tape for yourself if you missed it (it originally was shown during Henson’s Unsung Hollywood episode) and get ready to feel all types of nostalgic.
And in case you’ve never seen the real scene: