Empire star Taraji P. Henson is bringing ’70s disco fierceness to Allure’s July cover. In the cover story, Henson talks about her side hair hustle as a Howard University college student, as well as legal issues her Empire co-star, Terrence Howard, recently faced.
“I knew how to hustle and make money,” Henson told Allure. “We used to do wet sets. I bought a hooded dryer and I had my box of rollers. I could have gone to jail, I had no license whatsoever. But it was just my friends. They were like, ‘Girl, hook me up.’”
Hollywood didn’t come easy for Henson, especially since she got started late. But that didn’t deter her from having huge Hollywood dreams.
“I’ve had so many false starts,” said Henson. But as she put it, “If it’s easy, what story are you going to tell? Nobody wants to hear about how easy it was. That doesn’t inspire anyone.”
Although she is now a Hollywood veteran, there are a few things that Henson still won’t do in Hollywood, and that includes dating her co-stars: “I always wanted to be known for my work. Not who I dated. Not who I slept with. … I have a gift, and my gift is acting.
“I started in the business at 26 with a kid, so I was smart enough to know reality from fantasy,” she continued. “I didn’t want to blur the lines. This is a job that I have to do. I cannot get caught up in it. And if I sleep with these guys, why would they want to work with me again? Why wouldn’t they? The conquest is up. Now I’m just used-up [p—sy]. You have to stay professional. It is a business. I’m not letting no knucklehead dude come between my hard work and my money.”
Henson also spoke on the recent abuse allegations made by Howard’s ex-wives; the actress wants other people to put their own cards on the table: “Let’s pop the trunk to your life and see what’s dysfunctional and what’s bad. … At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we got flaws, and we got [s—t].”
Henson’s Allure issue goes on sale June 30.