Taraji P. Henson hopes to change Hollywood narrative with ‘Proud Mary’

You know her, love her, and maybe even fear her as Cookie on “Empire.” And now you’re definitely going to fear Taraji P. Henson in her new movie “Proud Mary.” She plays a hit woman who kicks butt and takes names in her new movie. Deco caught up with her on Monday.

Jahi Di’Allo Winston (as Danny): “Who the hell are you?”

Taraji P. Henson (as Mary): “I’m Mary.”

You don’t want to get on Taraji P. Henson’s bad side in “Proud Mary.” She stars as the title character — a hit woman who unexpectedly finds herself looking after a young boy.

Jahi Di’Allo Winston (as Danny): “You said I ain’t have to worry about him anymore.”

Taraji P. Henson (as Mary): “You don’t. No one does.”

Mary is proud, and so is Taraji. She told Deco what she hangs her hat on.

Taraji P. Henson: “I’m very proud! I’m proud of the woman that I’ve become, I’m proud of the gains I’m making in Hollywood, I’m proud of the mother that I am. I’m just proud. I’m proud of this film.”

We’re proud of you, too! Taraji really had to juggle her schedule to make this movie happen.

Taraji P. Henson: “I only had five days after wrapping ‘Empire’ to go into principle photography, so I literally had five days, and I’m going to take those five days for some R&R.”

Take as much time as you need — you’re Taraji P. Henson! But taking that break meant that instead of going through fight training from scratch, she leaned on her experience with dance.

Taraji P. Henson: “It’s a count — five, six, seven, eight, punch — instead of a plié or a pirouette or fase, fase, fase, and it really helped!”

Taraji P. Henson (as Cookie Lyon): “Hey, hey, hey, hey! You bust it, you buy it, and I know you can’t afford it!”

Of course, Taraji plays a total boss on “Empire,” which — cough, cough — airs right here on Channel 7, but this strong female role in “Proud Mary” was extra special.

Taraji P. Henson: “Time was ticking, and I definitely wanted to play a hero. I kept hinting to Marvel, and all of that, you know, DC Comics.”

Taraji says she was able to pull it all off at the age of 47, so she’s hoping this helps change the narrative in Hollywood.

Taraji P. Henson: “All of my girlfriends in the industry, they are bad. They look amazing. Their bodies are in shape, they’re physical. Why aren’t they in films like this?”


“Proud Mary” rolls into theaters, Jan. 12.

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