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Taraji P. Henson was 'freaked out' by memoir plans

Published 12/10/2016

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson

The star came to her senses after a candid chat with her make-up artist.

Actress Taraji P. Henson almost pulled the plug on her memoir plans because she feared fans would judge her for her "most vulnerable moments".

The Oscar-nominated star negotiated the deal with publishers at Simon & Schuster imprint 37 Ink in the months before her hip-hop drama series Empire premiered in January, 2015 and became a smash hit.

Fans fell in love with her tough-talking character, Cookie Lyon, but her increased level of fame only made Taraji wary of revealing all about her tough background in an autobiography, and she seriously considered returning her book advance cash.

"I almost sent the cheque back because I got nervous," the actress told U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. "I decided to write the book before Cookie became this phenomenon. I got scared because I've been doing this (acting) for a while and I've kinda been under the radar... But I got scared because now all eyes are on me and I'm sharing some of my most personal, vulnerable moments in life, and I don't know, (I thought), 'Will people judge me?' So I almost freaked out and backed out."

It took a few words of advice from Taraji's make-up artist for her to reconsider writing the book so others could benefit from her life lessons.

The star continued, "My make-up artist, she's a very spiritual woman, she said to me, 'Don't ever lose focus of why you started doing this. People need your story, Taraji, they need you'. So she kind of re-calibrated me and here we are."

Around the Way Girl, which was released on Tuesday (11Oct16), features memories from Taraji's childhood growing up in a rough Washington, D.C. neighbourhood, and her struggles as a single mum after falling pregnant while at college. She also details her climb to fame in Hollywood, working with the likes of Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Terrence Howard in Hustle & Flow and Empire, and Tyrese Gibson in Baby Boy.

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