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General, News ♦ October 21, 2020

Taraji P. Henson is officially single again … the actress confirmed she’s splitting up with her fiance.

Taraji revealed the news Monday while on “The Breakfast Club” and inferred she and Kelvin Hayden may have hit a rocky patch, so she suggested going to therapy to work on the relationship. But, ultimately … Taraji said they weren’t on the same page when it came to that.

She said, “I’m dedicated to the black man, y’all. I just turned 50 and I mean, I hadn’t said it yet, but it didn’t work out. I tried. I was like, therapy. Let’s do the therapy thing, but if you’re both not on the same page with that then you feel like you’re taking it on yourself and that’s not a fair position for anybody to play in a relationship.”

Hayden, a former NFL cornerback, and Henson got engaged back in May 2018. They were reportedly set to get married in June but nixed those plans due to the pandemic.

Rumors started last month the pair were on the fritz … after Hayden was NOT part of Henson’s 50th birthday event in Mexico.

Author: JoshuaLeave a Comment
Empire, News, Press, Television Series ♦ July 23, 2020

The offshoot is the first project to stem from the newly signed two-year, first-look deal for the actress turned producer, who is also launching production company TPH Entertainment.

The world of Empire will continue at Fox.

The independent broadcast network is reteaming with Taraji P. Henson for an untitled Empire spinoff, with the actress behind Cookie Lyon reprising her role in the potential series. The offshoot, which is in development, is the first project to stem from a newly signed two-year first-look deal that Henson has signed with Empire producers 20th Century Fox TV. Henson’s newly launched production company, TPH Entertainment, will also produce the Empire spinoff, which will follow what’s next for Cookie. Former vp television at Working Title Christine Conley will partner with Henson to run TPH.

Danny Strong — who co-created Empire with Lee Daniels — will be joined by the franchise’s Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy A. Littlejohn to co-write the series. All three will serve as co-showrunners. Sanaa Hamri is also attached to direct. Henson will also exec produce alongside Strong, Daniels, Littlejohn, Lawrence and Hamri. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Samie Falvey will also return to exec produce the spinoff. The drama, like the flagship, hails from the now Disney-owned 20th TV. While official plot details remain under wraps, sources tell THR the spinoff will follow Cookie as she moves to L.A. and potentially feature some of her other family members. 

Sources say the spinoff could also help Empire come to a proper conclusion after its series finale was unable to be produced before the industrywide novel coronavirus-related production shutdown. In announcing that the series finale would not be able to be filmed, Empire co-creators Daniels and Strong left the door open for a potential follow-up, with rumors of the Henson-led spinoff circulating in industry circles for months. 

“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson said. “Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation. I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”

Added Cassidy, president of 20th TV: “We were lucky to have a front row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire. Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”

The Henson-led drama arrives as Daniels has been open for years about wanting to do an Empire spinoff. Daniels previously co-created music drama Star, which existed in the same world as Empire but was not technically considered a spinoff despite the fact that both shows often crossed over. That series ran for three seasons before being canceled last year (much to Daniels’ chagrin). In 2017, there had been rumors of an Empire prequel series focused around a young version of Henson’s Cookie. That project was never ordered, though Henson was open about her interest in remaining a part of the Empire world for as long as possible.

Henson is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Conley, who spent four years working in physical production before turning to development roles at Working Title (Gypsy, About a Boy), is repped by attorney Patti Felker. 

Author: JoshuaLeave a Comment
News, The Best of Enemies ♦ October 10, 2018

STXfilms has set an April 5 release for civil rights drama “The Best of Enemies,” starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.

Henson portrays Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist in Durham, N.C., who battled KKK leader C.P. Ellis (Rockwell) for a decade until 1971, when the two agreed to co-chair a two-week community meeting to deal with a court-ordered school desegregation decree. That event changed both of their lives. Babou Ceesay portrays Bill Riddick, who reluctantly persuaded Ellis and Atwater to head the community summit to try and reach a compromise. The cast also includes Anne Heche, Wes Bentley, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., and Nick Searcy.

Robin Bissell, an executive producer on “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit,” is making his directorial debut from his own script, inspired by Osha Gray Davidson’s book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South.” Producers include Danny Strong, Fred Bernstein, Matt Berenson, Bissell, Dominique Telson, and Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe. Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producers.

Rockwell won an Oscar in 2018 for best supporting actor for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Henson, who stars in “Empire,” was previously nominated for an Academy Award for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment
News ♦ October 03, 2018

Tom Donahue’s documentary This Changes Everything is a timely investigation into sexism and gender disparity in Hollywood featuring testimony from celebrities including Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Taraji P. Henson, and Cate Blanchett. This Changes Everything provides a stark wake-up call to the widespread problems facing the entertainment industry—and ways to solve them. With damning evidence and shocking anecdotes, Donahue’s documentary offers a powerful indictment of an unjust system.

It’s set to premiere at Hamptons International Film Festival and will also be featured at Chicago International Film Festival. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A session.

Hamptons International Film Festival
Sat, Oct 06, 2018 10:00 am
East Hampton UA1

Sun, Oct 07, 2018 5:00 pm
Southampton Arts Center

BUY TICKETS

Chicago International Film Festival
Sun, Oct 14, 2018 5:30PM
​AMC River East 21

BUY TICKETS

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment
News, What Men Want ♦ August 21, 2018

Paramount has moved the release of its Taraji P. Henson comedy What Men Want from mid-January to February 8, to better capitalize on pre-Valentine’s Day business at the box office.

The gender-switching remake of Nancy Meyers’ 2000 romantic comedy What Women Want stars Henson in the Mel Gibson role. She plays Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When she is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Aldis Hodge) to the test.

Adam Shankman directs, and Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tracy Morgan, Josh Brener, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Brian Bosworth, Chris Witaske and Erykah Badu co-star.

The film’s release-date swap means it will hit theaters the same time as Warner Bros’ The LEGO Movie sequel, Lionsgate actioner Hard Powder and Orion’s horror pic The Prodigy. That will be followed by Valentine’s Day Week releases including Fox’s X-Men tentpole Dark Phoenix, Warner Bros’ Rebel Wilson-comedy Isn’t It Romantic and an untitled Blumhouse movie (all bowing on Thursday, February 14).

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment
News, The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation ♦ August 14, 2018

Taraji and her BFF Tracie Jade Jenkins, who also acts as executive director, are launching the The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation on September 22. The organization seeks to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community and is in honor of Taraji’s late father.

Taraji P. Henson, actress and founder: “My dad was a Vietnam vet and I watched him struggle with PTSD, and I watched the black men in my community and in my family struggle with depression. Everytime you see someone get gunned down in the news, black on black crime — these are things that we don’t get to work out because therapy is taboo in our community. For me, when it hit close to home is when my son was having issues — his father was murdered when he was about 9 years old — and him becoming a young man with no dad around and having questions, and needing someone to talk it out with. So it became a challenge when it came time to look for a psychiatrist, somewhere he could feel safe, someone that looked like him, someone he could tell his secrets to. It became a problem. It was like looking for a unicorn. We don’t have black kids growing up who say, ‘I want to be a psychiatrist.’ People are walking around hurt and depressed and they don’t know why. So we are creating a dialogue, making it safe for people to talk about mental-health issues.”

Tracie Jade Jenkins, executive director: “I am living with anxiety and depression and it runs in my family. I watched my mother suffer with it, I have suffered with it and now my daughter. We didn’t go to the therapist. There was no one to ever reach out to, so we handled it internally. And I think if earlier on my mom knew there was somewhere she could go we may have been able to break the cycle. Part of our mission statement is: break the silence to break the cycle. It’s timely for us right now to start this particular dialogue and foundation. I know America in general is dealing with mental-health issues in a major way right now, but African- Americans have been dealing with it for hundreds of years under the weight of racism and prejudices and systemic oppression. We don’t have the resources, so we will create them.”

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment
News, The Best of Enemies ♦ July 17, 2018

STXfilms has acquired domestic distribution rights to Astute Films’ civil rights drama “The Best of Enemies,” starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.

Babou Ceesay (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), Anne Heche, Wes Bentley, Bruce McGill, Tony Award-winner John Gallagher Jr., and Nick Searcy (“The Shape of Water”) lead the supporting cast.

“Empire” star Henson portrays Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist in Durham, N.C., who battled KKK leader C.P. Ellis (played by Rockwell) for a decade until 1971, when the two agreed to co-chair a two-week community meeting to deal with a court-ordered school desegregation decree. That event changed both of their lives. Ceesay portrays Bill Riddick, who reluctantly persuaded Ellis and Atwater to head the community summit to try and reach a compromise.

Robin Bissell, an exec producer on “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit,” is making his directorial debut from his own script, inspired by Osha Gray Davidson’s book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South.” Producers include Danny Strong, Fred Bernstein, Matt Berenson, Bissell, Dominique Telson, and Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe. Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producers.

“Robin Bissell crafted a beautiful look at this unlikely friendship that arose from one of the most unsettling times in our country’s history, with Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, and the entire cast delivering riveting performances,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms. “STXfilms is proud to come on board for this important and entertaining film that will resonate and evoke dialogue about the timeless humanity that is at the heart of this powerful story.”

Rockwell won the best supporting actor Academy Award in March for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Henson was nominated for an Oscar for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

The deal was brokered by UTA Independent Film Group. Henson is represented by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Bissell is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Bloom Hergott Diemer. Gallagher Jr. is represented by UTA, Wetzel Entertainment Group, and Morris Yorn.

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment
Empire, News ♦ May 02, 2018

Empire‘s reign will continue.

Fox’s drama has been renewed for a fifth season — and for good reason. While the show’s ratings have declined significantly over the years, it still squeaks into the list of top 10 entertainment shows on TV.

“Empire is as compelling, emotional, and unpredictable as it ever was,” said Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn. “We are so proud of our amazing cast, led by Terrence [Howard] and Taraji [P. Henson], who deliver powerful performances week after week. We’d also like to thank our tremendous creative team … whose inspired storytelling continues to create the unforgettable, jaw-dropping OMG moments that have always been signature to Empire.”

Fox didn’t release the number of episodes, but the network has ordered 18 episodes per season recently.

The drama is averaging 11.3 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49. Wednesday night’s new episode features Forest Whitaker and Alfre Woodard as guest stars.

Author: MaricaLeave a Comment