Taraji P. Henson Is Just Getting Started

The Date Night actress on her own date gone wrong and more

The actress plays a cop in the upcoming Tina Fey/Steve Carell comedy, "Date Night."
Photograph: Photo by: Janet Mayer / PR Photos

"I haven’t even peaked yet."

She wowed critics as the pregnant prostitute in Hustle & Flow, then got an Oscar nod for 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. "My dad always told me, ‘You’re a late bloomer. God is preserving you for something,’" Henson says. "I was like, what am I, a pickle?’" Recently, she flew to China to film a remake of The Karate Kid, and this month, she plays a skeptical cop in the comedy Date Night. Here, we poke around her personal life:

A challenge of being a black actress . . . I can’t just walk into a studio and get a film green-lit. But I’m very optimistic. I’m done with the whole "Everybody’s against me because I’m black." No. You can make a way.

My worst date . . . was my one and only blind date. The guy didn’t talk, and I’m a very friendly, bubbly person. I was like, are you a corpse?

If I could be a fly on a wall, I’d visit . . .
the Obamas. They look like they have so much heat between them. I want to see him grab her and go for a kiss or something.

My biggest risk, greatest reward . . . Packing up me and my son [she’s a single mom of a 15-year-old] and moving from D.C. to L.A. in 1995. I never cave to fear. Of course, I’m not a goofball. I’m not gonna be jumping off the side of a bridge.

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