Belfast Telegraph

Taraji P. Henson: Acting is a job, not a lifestyle

Taraji P. Henson's son is tuned in to people wanting to be his friend because of what she does for a living.

The 44-year-old actress has won a legion of fans thanks to her role as Cookie Lyon in hit Fox series Empire. While she's thrilled by how well the show has been received and the praise she has had for her work, she insists she won't let the fame go to her head.

"I have a kid [son Marcel] who's 21. I'm not sensationalised; I'm not all into the celebrity," she told the American edition of Harper's Bazaar. "This is a job. I love what I do, but I am clear it is a job."

Taraji may not care about being a celebrity, but she does think her body of work will leave a mark in Hollywood history. That's why she keeps all her clothes, particularly outfits that have won her roles.

"One day I'll be famous enough or important enough where people will want my sh*t like Elizabeth Taylor's," she laughed.

Before Empire, Taraji appeared in a number of big Hollywood movies including the Karate Kid remake and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Her success has made her wary of "fair-weather friends" and it's something she's passed on to her son too.

"Oh, they are coming out of the woodwork... My son is very in tune with that. My dad said to him, 'People are going to try to be your friend because of what your mother does.' That stuck," she explained. "Even guys who try to be a mentor to him - because, you know, his father was murdered when Marcel was nine - so I was very particular about not dating. I don't want to just bring a man around. Marcel knows how to gauge, 'Are you here for me, or do you like my mother?'"

That doesn't mean the star has given up on love though and described her perfect man to the publication.

"He is funny, has personality, he doesn't take himself too seriously," she said. "He needs to be confident in who he is, confident to let me be who I am. And let me shine, you know? My light is only going to enhance his light."

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From Belfast Telegraph