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Taraji P.Henson is fierce and uncensored on the cover of Marie Claire Magazine‘s October issue.
A self-admitted daddy’s girl, Henson speaks with sweet reverence about her late father, who pushed her, a young black single mother, to move from southeastern D.C. to Los Angeles 20 years ago to pursue her dreams of stardom. She wielded a theater degree; $700; her son, Marcell (now 23); and an unwavering belief that she deserved to be seen.
Her assuredness and talent propelled the girl who “came from the goddamn hood and put myself through Howard University” to nearly insurmountable heights in an industry that doesn’t center women, especially black women who, as she writes in her best-selling memoir, Around the Way Girl, don’t “have the look of, say, a Halle Berry, or the ethnic ambiguity of a Gugu Mbatha-Raw,” but the look of “an everyday, round-the-way girl.”
On supporting other women in the industry: “How can we get ahead if we’re feuding and hating on each other all the time? I made a pact years ago that I would never hate on another female, ever, especially in this industry.”
On the legacy she wants to leave: “I love black people. I love telling stories. I want these little girls to study me like I studied Meryl and Bette Davis and Carol Burnett. I want them to study my work, because I put a lot of work in, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.”
On dating: “I would love to be in a relationship, but he has to see how I move and deal with it because I don’t have time to explain. I’ve got work to do.”
On doing her own laundry: “That keeps me normal. That keeps me feeling like, Yeah, I’m not too Hollywood.“
Check out the cover feature on www.marieclaire.com
Photography: Nicholas Moore | @nicolasmoore
Styling: Elizabeth Stewart | @elizabethstewart1
Hair: Tymothe Wallace | @tymwallacehair
Makeup: Rea Ann Silva | @reaannsilva
Manicure: Emi Kudo | @nailsbyemikudo
Set design: James Dean | @jamiedeanstudio