Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis Discuss Race, Onscreen Sex and Fame [WATCH]
Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis are experiencing their moments, years after their careers got started. The two actresses, both in their 40’s have both been working steadily for years in movies and are both Oscar nominees in previous years.
But its been their starring roles in television that have helped them achieve the biggest successe of their careers. Henson, of course is starring as Cookie in Empire, while Davis is headlining How To Get Away With Murder as Annalise Keating.
This week, the actresses were on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter and part of a roundtable that included other TV actresses – The Honorable Woman’s Maggie Gyllenhall, The Affair’s Ruth Wilson, Masters Of Sex’s Lizzy Caplan and American Horror Story’s Jessica Lange and others. Henson and Davis are the only actresses in the group with lead roles on primetime, network shows.
Here’s some of what the actresses had to say:
VIOLA DAVIS I felt that way before I even started. I didn’t know how to get into the business. The only thing I had was a desire, and people thought I had talent. But then what? How do you get a job? How do you audition? I didn’t come from people who could pay my bills. So I dove in. When your passion and drive are bigger than your fears, you just dive. I’ve been on my last unemployment check before with no way to pay my bills, but we stay in it because we all know it’s an occupational hazard.
TARAJI P. HENSON High school was the only time I ever can remember [thinking about] quitting. I auditioned for Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and didn’t get accepted. At that age, their word was law. It meant I couldn’t act! So I went to college to be an electrical engineer. I don’t know why I did that — I still count on my fingers, and I failed calculus with flying colors. But then I rerouted my life — enrolled at Howard University, took up theater and studied the craft. I felt like I was armored enough to come out to Hollywood. And I knew that I would get told “no” a million times.
For clips from their interviews where they talked about onscreen sex, racism, roles and rising to their opportunities Click Here…