Taraji P. Henson is a stellar actress, but sadly, most people recognize her from Empire. Maybe they were under rocks for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hustle & Flow, Hidden Figures, Baby Boy or any of the other silver screen hits in which she’s appeared..
And while Henson has made her Empire character, Cookie, into a household name, she wants to be sure that the world knows that as an actress, she has more to offer. And she does!
In her latest role, in Proud Mary, Henson plays Mary, a bad-ass mother and assassin. She told the Chicago Tribune of her character: “This woman wants out of a lifestyle that she is sick of. She has a bunch of men telling her she can’t leave; well, guess what? She takes the power back.”
Henson is not a newbie when it comes to strong leading lady roles, but it is the first time we get to see her in action. As the big wheels keep on turnin’ in Hollywood, this “proud Mary” keeps on rollin’ to provide us with refreshing performances in roles that a woman of her caliber deserves.
You’ve got to admit, watching a woman “of a certain age and hue” (as Henson says in the video above) play a role like this one is empowering. We haven’t really seen this type of character since the ’70s, with portrayals like Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown. We see you, Taraji! And hopefully (despite the film’s awful promotion) you’ll be going to see Proud Mary, too, in theaters on Friday.