What would we give for one ounce of the confidence and presence Taraji P. Henson has in a single eyebrow? The Empire star graces the cover of the October issue of Marie Claire and makes it clear that, though she's been nominated for all the awards and has by most definitions made it in Hollywood, she's still striving for more.
"I want these little girls to study me like I studied Meryl [Streep] and Bette Davis and Carol Burnett," Henson told the magazine of what she wants as her legacy. "I want them to study my work, because I put a lot of work in, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears."
In addition to the upcoming season of Empire, she has at least three movies slated to come out in 2018, and two others with release dates yet to be announced. She seems to have had this work ethic since the beginning. When describing her earlier years as an actress, following her film debut in 2001's Baby Baby, she explained that she decided not to do another "ghetto role," for a while at least, because she wanted to prove her versatility.
"I can give them as many different performances as Meryl Streep," Henson said. "[W]ho is the one they look up to? Meryl Streep. Watch this. You think black women can't do it? I'm trained just like she is."
But don't think she means to insult Streep with that quote. Henson was very adamant about not feuding with other actresses, despite unfounded rumors to the contrary. As can be seen whenever she's in a group interview with costars or at awards shows, she is all about supporting her fellow actresses.
"I made a pact years ago that I would never hate on another female, ever, especially in this industry," she told the magazine.
Empire season 4 premieres on September 27 on Fox.