Taraji P. Henson went braless on the cover of W Magazine, and the 44-year-old Empire star’s racy, but sexy, cover has people talking.
The spread, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, shows Henson baring it all in front of the camera. At one point, she has a completely open red button-up shirt, braless, and in other photos, Taraji is seen wearing a tight white midriff t-shirt.
In the candid cover interview, Taraji P. Henson talks about landing the role of Cookie Lyon in the hit show Empire, directed by Lee Daniels. She revealed that she had previously auditioned for one of Daniels’ films, the critically acclaimed 2009 film Precious, but the part eventually went to Gabourey Sidibe instead.
Photoset: femmequeens: Taraji P. Henson photographed by Mert and Marcus, W Magazine August 2015 http://t.co/wA3KOOVfyx
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“Lee wanted me for the thin, pretty teacher in ‘Precious,’ ” she said, according to Fox News. “And I was like, ‘Well, I want to play Precious — because that’s the role in this piece.’ Lee thought I was nuts. I was like, ‘Look, they turned Charlize Theron into a monster! I could be this girl!’ When I think about that now, it was such a Cookie move.”
Henson’s role as Cookie isn’t her only high-profile role. She received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
“I lost, but it was the best time of my life,” she recalled. “Brad and Angelina rushed up to me and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, ‘Yes! Can I get some more wine?!’ They were more concerned about my name not being called than I was.”
Taraji P Henson on W magazine pic.twitter.com/UCjmK3xJ5I
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According to TooFab, Taraji also opened up about why Cookie seems to leave a lasting impression on her fans.
“They want Cookie,” Henson told the magazine. “They see her heart. They see her intentions. And they love her style — her style is 17 years behind the fashion curve, which makes the clothes a character on the show.”
“As Cookie grows, you’ll see her fashion grow. And people love that — she’s a work in progress,” Taraji continued. “The only thing that never changes is her spirit: To me, Cookie is living, breathing, walking truth.”
Shockingly, Henson admits that she almost turned down the role.
“I was like, ‘This is stupid,’ ” she explained. “Hip-hop — dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. But then I started to think, ‘Cookie is going to piss so many people off! She hits her son with a broom; she talks back.’ Clearly, this was a challenge.”
What do you think about Taraji P. Henson’s braless photo shoot? Leave your comments below.
[Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty Images]