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Taraji P. Henson Says Your Circle Could Be Sabotaging Your Relationship

Taraji P. Henson Says Your Circle Could Be Sabotaging Your Relationship

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If you've ever had trouble figuring out what your male boss really thinks of you after a meeting or if the guy you're on date 3 with is really telling the truth, What Men Want star Taraji P. Henson seeks to give you a little insight.


In this highly anticipated film, the recent Hollywood Walk-of-Fame Star recipient serves as our undercover woman to give us the inside scoop to the thoughts of men. In the film, Taraji plays the lead role of Ali Davis, the spunky yet successful sports agent who aspires to become the first Black female partner at her firm. The only problem? Her approach with men is wildly underwhelming. But with just a few sips of some arguably suspect tea, Ali now has a secret weapon in her possession: the ability to hear men's thoughts.

Co-Produced by Hollywood power-producer Will Packer, this movie is just one glimpse into what it's like to navigate a male-centric industry as a woman in 2019. And as hard as it may be for women to dominate their professional relationships, successfully cultivating their personal ones provide challenges of their own. xoNecole got to chat exclusively with the film's star Taraji P. Henson, where she let us in on a few of her personal secret weapons that helped her find success in both her love life and professional life.

"You have to have the right people around you," Taraji explained. "I have a group of friends around me that don't allow me to leave the room. You know, if me and my fiancé find ourselves with an issue, they grab hands and lock arms. They're like 'you can't leave the circle, you have to stay and figure it out.' You have to stay and figure it out because that's what 'lifetime' [commitment] is about. I think a lot of times it's who you're getting your advice from which would help you to sabotage your relationship."

And just as it's important to have a solid team of friends around you, it's equally as important to have a collaborative spirit. Especially when it comes to the workforce. Taraji let us know that being a team player is what made it easy for her to have her voice and opinions heard. "Even though the director and producers were men, they're fair in their thinking," she says. "Therefore I have a team and we work together. You can't ever be afraid to speak your mind. Will [Packer, producer] knows that if I speak out about something, it means I'm passionate about it. I'm not a problem-maker but if there's an issue that I feel passionately about, I'm going to speak on it."

She adds, "You have to learn to pick your battles, you can't fight every fight. You want to win the war. So you have to be very conscious about the battles you choose."

What Men Want is in theaters everywhere so be sure get your tickets NOW!

Featured image by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images.

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My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

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This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

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TILLis in theaters October 14.

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