Taraji P. Henson On Being Cast as Quinta Brunson’s Mom On ‘Abbott Elementary’: ‘I’m Not Going to Fight Age’
Taraji P. Henson is tired of ageism in the film industry, y’all. The Hollywood star, known for her roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Hidden Figures on the big screen and for her in-your-face characters on shows like Empire and Abbott Elementary on the small screen, just got real about how her roles have changed as she has aged. And even though she has racked up an impressive amount of credits both in the entertainment world and in her own business endeavors, Henson is only human and has had her fair share of anxiety surrounding aging and her body.
The multi-hyphenate posed for HelloBeautiful’s June digital cover and talked about preparing for her role on Abbott Elementary as Vanetta, Janine Teague’s (Quinta Brunson) estranged mother who only has a tendency to show up in Jeanine’s life when she needs something. The 52-year-old expressed excitement to be on the show, but wasn’t exactly thrilled with her casting as the mother of a full-grown adult at first.
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“At first it was like, ah, mom? Why can’t I be her sister?,” Henson told HelloBeautiful. “Then I looked at her age and I said, B—-, because you old enough to be her mother. Like, stop playing,” she continued, laughing. “I’m not going to fight age. I’m going to age gracefully.”
This isn’t the first time Henson has addressed the elephant in the room that is being a woman and having the audacity to age head on. In December 2021, she talked about how she wasn’t going to let anyone decide how she aged during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
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“I want to be the representation for women that your sexy […] never dies until you’re in the box,” she exclaimed after Clarkson couldn’t believe she was about to turn 50. “Listen, it’s how you feel. I decided I wasn’t going to allow the world, men of this industry to dictate how I live my life and how I age. I’m going to turn 50 just like I turned 30, except, you know, my knees are a little different. But I’m not going to buy into ‘my career is over’ or ‘life for me is over’ or ‘my sexy is over’ or ‘I shouldn’t wear this.’ I’m going to do what I feel.”
A woman being comfortable in her own skin, no matter her age — we love to see it!
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