When I think of Taraji P. Henson, I think of versatility. Her roles range from a NASA mathematician to a dangerous hit woman. Her fashion, both on the screen and in real life, is eye-catching and fun. And when she’s in a movie, you can’t take your eyes off her. She makes 50 look good! For her 50th birthday (this September 11!), let’s take a look at some of my favorite Taraji P. Henson roles.
It’s always interesting to learn about someone through their own words. Luckily, Henson wrote a memoir, Around the Way Girl, that describes her life growing up in Washington, D.C., studying acting at the prestigious Howard University and breaking into movies with her first role, in Baby Boy.
I loved learning about space when I was a kid. But I only learned about the male astronauts and not the female “computers” who did the math to make sure those intrepid space men came back safely. Katherine Johnson, one of the computers who worked on sending the first men to the moon, is one of my personal heroes. I’m so glad she got to see herself portrayed by the dynamic Henson in Hidden Figures.
Stylish action movies are so much fun. Henson’s anti-heroine, Mary, may be a cold-blooded killer, but she’s also great with kids. In Proud Mary, Henson works to save a boy caught between warring factions in Boston.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Henson plays the fabulous and savvy Yesss. The character’s design was based on Cruella DeVille, not because she’s evil, but because she’s so fashionable and of the moment. Yesss guides our heroes through their wildest adventure yet: the World Wide Web.