Oscar and Emmy-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson is the latest recipient of a star to be unveiled Monday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor that she calls “surreal.”
Getting a star on the Walk of Fame “really confirms that in spite of the circumstances in your life whether you were born into them or they just happened along the way, it doesn’t matter because with God, all things are possible,” Henson told City News Service.
“I want to say to all of the little brown babies all over the world, `Look at me and see you.’ I was a single mom, raised by a single mom and lived in the hood,” the 48-year-old actress said. “I never focused on my circumstances. I focused on my dream and look at God. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a journey through history and today my legacy will be forever etched in the history of Hollywood. I’ve worked so hard for this. It’s surreal.”
Henson recalled walking along the Walk of Fame “and seeing all the phenomenal names and daydreaming about what they must have felt like on that day.”
“You would always see them on TV on their hands and knees with cameras flashing and people hoping to get a glimpse of them and maybe an autograph,” she said. “One day, I literally kneeled down and put my hands inside of Bette Davis’ star. I’ve always admired her talent, then I got up, brushed off my jeans and said, `One day my name will be cemented in this town. I grabbed my son’s hand and as I walked away I could feel it, one day.”
Henson’s star is on the same block — although on the opposite side of the street — from the star Davis received for her motion picture work. It is a block away — and on the same side of the street — as the star Davis received for her television work.
Davis’ stars were among the initial 1,558 when the Walk of Fame was completed in 1961. Henson’s star is the 2,655th.
Henson — whose latest film, “What Men Want,” is set for release on Feb. 8 — will be joined bt John Singleton and Mary J. Blige at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Eastown apartment complex in the 6200 block of Sunset Boulevard.
Singleton directed Henson in the 2001 coming-of-age hood film “Baby Boy,” the 2005 crime drama “Four Brothers” and a 2015 episode of her Fox hip-hop drama “Empire,” and was among the producers of “Hustle & Flow,” the 2005 film where Henson gave her breakthrough performance as a pregnant friendly prostitute. Henson also provided the vocals for the film’s Oscar-winning Three 6 Mafia track, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
Blige appeared with Henson in the 2009 Tyler Perry-directed romantic musical comedy-drama “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” and sang on her 2015 Fox variety special “Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays.”
Born Sept. 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C., Henson said she “knew since the age of 5 that I wanted to be an actress.”
“I always loved to entertain my family at all the functions and I loved being the center of attention and making everyone laugh,” she said. “Not much has changed, I’m still the dramatic one in the family.”
Henson’s first television appearances came in 1997 on The WB comedies “The Parent ‘Hood” and “Sister, Sister.” The first series in which she was a cast member was the 2001-04 Lifetime crime drama “The Division.”
Henson received a best supporting actress nomination in 2009 for her portrayal of the title character’s mother in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and shared the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture in 2017 with her “Hidden Figures” castmates.
Henson received the first of her three Emmy nominations in 2011 for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie for her portrayal of a mother whose son is kidnapped by his father and taken to South Korea in the LMN film “Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.” Shen also received lead actress in a drama series Emmy nods in 2015 and 2016 for her work on “Empire,” which brought her a Golden Globe in 2016.
Henson is also a six-time BET Award winner, and her nine Image Award wins include entertainer of the year honors in 2015. The following year, she was selected by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
In “What Men Want,” Henson plays a sports agent whose life changes when she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts.
Henson said “the only thing missing” from her star ceremony is her father Boris, who died in 2006 at the age of 58.
“He always saw it in me and stayed on me to push myself and never give up,” she said. “I know he is with me in spirit, this is his star too and I know he’s proud.”