Eye Candy | Taraji P. Henson

23 07 2009

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Fresh off of receiving her first Oscar nomination less than a year ago and with a new movie opening this fall, life has been very good for DC’s own, Taraji Penda Henson!

While the sexy cutie beauty may have come late to the party, Henson is not wasting any time “getting in where she fits in.” The great grandcousin of North Pole discover Matthew Henson, she was born and raised in Southeast Washington, DC. After putting herself through Howard University working two jobs, she was left to raise her son alone after the unexpected death of her ex.

Her crowning achievement isn’t her career but the rearing of her son, Marcel.

“I am very hands-on and I want to make sure my son has the energy he needs to go off to school and have a productive day. I don’t have an assistant. It’s all me. Taking care of my son is my number-one priority,” said Henson. “It seems like my baby has grown up so quickly and I just want to cherish the time I have left with him before he goes away to college. I am already saddened by the fact that I only have a few years left . . . Honestly, I have done a hell of a job as a single mother and Marcel is an incredible kid. I believe children are closest to God’s heart, like little angels, and because I take good care of him that’s why I’m so blessed.”

It was less than ten years ago that she signed on to play a single mother in a volatile relationship with a young man who refused to grow up in the cult classic, “Baby Boy.” Henson followed up that intense performance with work in several other notable films including “Four Brothers,” “Hustle and Flow,” “Talk To Me,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “The Family That Preys” and “Not Easily Broken.”

But she was thrust into the limelight for her passionate, loving performance as Queenie in romantic fantasy story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” For her performance, Henson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2009. When asked about her inspiration she replied, “Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love.”

Even her name is an indication of her bubbly, energetic spirit. Taraji Penda translates in Swahili origin with her first name meaning “hope” and her middle name meaning “love.” Voted one of “The 10 Sexiest Women of 2001” by the readers of Black Men Magazine, Henson’s career is moving full steam ahead. Her next film, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” hits theaters in early September.

Her attitude about her life and career are summed up by her philosophy of life. “Love as often as you can. Dance like nobody’s watching. Travel. Eat. Try new foods because, like my character says, you never know what’s coming for you and when it’s time to let go, you got to let go.”

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