Back then they didn't want me, now I'm hot, they all on me...
It's Taraji's time.
Taraji P. Henson is testimony to the saying 'It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.' After a decade and a half in the game, the 44-year-old actress is finally enjoying the full-throttle success she's so rightfully earned, and has the matching receipts to go with it. Last night, the gorgeous entertainer attended the fifth annual "Critics Choice TV Awards," at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, alongside the likes of Queen Latifah, Tracee Ellis Ross and more, and snagged the win for Best Actress in a Drama Series, per her role as Cookie on FOX's "Empire." Even bigger, Taraji also became the first African-American actress to win the Critic's Choice for 'Best Actress in a Drama Series'. Werk, Ms. Henson!
During her acceptance speech, the superstar and single mother of one expressed the importance of taking career risks:
"[I] took a risk, and that’s what art is about. I take a risk every time I take a character. And boy, did I take a risk with Cookie.”
Congrats Taraji. You deserve it!
Meanwhile, the irony of Taraji's most recent success is that just last year, months before "Empire" aired, the actress, who at that point already had countless movies under her belt and even starred alongside the likes of everyone from Idris Elba to Brad Pitt, revealed that she was still getting the freshman-fame treatment in 2014:
“I’m still treated like I’m on the D-list. I’m still being considered with actresses who haven’t done half the stuff I’ve achieved. When people tell me no, I get hyped. Because when I prove that I can and will, I love watching people eat crow.
The journey is not over. I’ve come a long way from ‘Aye, that’s that girl from Baby Boy’ to now people know how to pronounce my name. But I’m just scratching the surface. For whatever reason, God gave me this life, and I’m not gon’ f-ck it up.”
My, my, my- how times have changed! But like they say, a lot can happen in a year, and we highly doubt anyone is hardly telling Taraji "no" these days!
And although the Howard University alumni is more than grateful for her new claim to fame by way of the leading, lady Lyon, she recently admitted on "The Angie Martinez Show," that it bugs her out to think that one season on TV versus 15 years of film has attributed to her finally becoming a household name:
It’s crazy because I’ve been here. I’m mad y’all just catching up but all right. [The attention] does feel good, it just goes to show all my hard work as paid off but I’m like, where has everybody been? I don’t understand. What am I doing that’s so different?
It’s probably the character and that she’s in your house every week as opposed to a movie.
But I did question [the delay in fame],, because some stars can do a movie and they blow up and I waited for that for 15 years. But Cookie comes along and kicks in the door and now everybody knows Taraji!
Hey, better late than never, right?
Just proves that the waiting game is more than just "waiting"- it is a whole lot of working the whole way through, while also having the patience to wait your turn (which can be agonizing for some). Taraji's success was definitely earned, not given!
Meanwhile, check out the other gorgeous attendees and winners on Page 2