From moving to California with only USD 700 in her pocket, to living the live that she’d dreamt of, Taraji P. Henson (aka the HOT AF, Cookie Lyon on Empire) is definitely a tough “COOKIE” -- for what she has surpassed and gone through in order to strive for her dreams.
Image by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America / AFP
Before landing a place in the spotlight of her career, Taraji had gone through many difficulties and obstacles along her road to success. Just like her single mother, Taraji gained courage to leave her abusive ex not long after she gave birth to her son, Marcel and single handedly raised him. Even though it’s already a tough-enough life for her, she knew in her head that acting has always been what she wanted to do. With determination, she took her son (at that time still an infant), USD 700, and went on her way to California to start her journey.
Images by Robyn Beck / AFP
In the beginning, things did not go as planned. She wasn’t well appreciated at some point and was offered an extremely low pay in one of the projects that she was involved in just because she was an African-American. But of course, as the strong lady that she is, that could not bring her down.
WOW!!! My sensitive eyeballs 😩😂💋💋💋#Repost @jameswhitefoto ・・・ Another repost from my #InstagramTakeover of @ewphotodept //. This image I find so compelling of @TarajipHenson shot last year for #EW. She wasn’t actually crying on set it just so happened that the fan for her hair kept hitting her in the eye causing them to water. The makeup artist at that moment was about to step in until I yelled “not until i get the shot!” #tarajiphenson
Some may remember her from the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for playing the role of Benjamin’s mother, Queenie, but playing that role may have been a part of God’s plan (to whom she strongly believes in) to bringing her to where she is today.
Being that 26 year old woman that came all the way to get what she wants, there were many naysayers that were in her way and pretty much telling her she wouldn’t make it, look at her now! Playing one of the lead roles in Empire and having gained great success, she's also motivating, inspiring, is an Academy Award, Golden Globes and Emmy nominee, earned her diploma, published her own book, and is working on many new upcoming movies. Now, that is why she is a Women We Love!