The Oscar-nominated actress’ recent viral comments about pay inequity, starting with a Gayle King interview on SiriusXM in which Henson broke down in tears, and later revealing that she and her “Color Purple” cast and crew were deprived of proper security detail and crafts services during filming, have overshadowed the actual work. Make no mistake: Henson is the real deal as the sexuality-oozing blues songstress Shug Avery in Bazawule’s Alice Walker adaptation, itself a film version of the beloved Broadway musical. Henson holds her own song-and-dance-wise alongside Fantasia Barrino, who stars as Celie, but had to reactivate a musicality in herself that she hadn’t tapped into since her early days as a background actor and student of drama at Howard University.
The Christmas box office smash — one of the highest holiday openings ever — just notched a SAG ensemble nomination, along with Danielle Brooks for her rousing supporting turn as Sofia. Henson’s powerhouse turn is included in that nominated ensemble. But her press tour has emerged as more of a barnstorming around disparities in Hollywood, and its continued sidelining of Black talent. It’s nothing new from the outspoken and passionate Henson, but people in power, just maybe, this time are closely listening….
The post “Taraji P. Henson on Why She Spoke Out on Pay, ‘Color Purple’ Issues – IndieWire” by Ryan Lattanzio was published on 01/11/2024 by www.indiewire.com