National treasure Taraji P. Henson is Carine Roitfeld's "new obsession" and is featured in the seventh issue of the fashion icon's CR Fashion Book, photographed by Bruce Weber.
TPH discusses her insecurities, her new role in Lee Daniels's Richard Pryor biopic and the deaths of her father and cousin. Henson shared some thoughts on her cousin, who was gay but died of complications from AIDS, on her Facebook last week:
My cousin had been battling AIDS and he passed away on the same day that my character died. This is my cousin who took me to drag shows. He told me about down-low brothers, he may have saved my life. He also taught me about being a lady. He told me ladies carry clutches on the red carpet, so sometimes when I don't carry a clutch I feel I'm disgracing him. It's the simple stuff you miss in a person. No one ever taught me how to properly put toilet tissue on the spool, with the flap hanging toward you, not underneath. He taught me that, and it lives with me to this day. Whenever I go into someone's bathroom and their tissue isn't the right way, I look up in the sky, and I go, Damn!
As for her role in the Pryor movie, I'm just going to say it now: Oscar.
You will see her go from this young, beautiful woman who is a prostitute to someone beaten down by life. She has no teeth, no hair--just a broken woman, everything taken from her. And I love her. I'm drawn to characters that scare the shit out of me because I know they are going to unearth something in me.
Check out Taraji--along with Jussie Smollett, John Batiste, Michael Beasley and Henry Watkins--in You've Lost That Loving Feeling, a short film by Weber, below:
And just for kicks, check out this other video of Taraji and Jussie because it's adorable, you guys: