Taraji P. Henson says she's 'lost roles' because she's black... and part written especially for her went to Naomi Watts
She's a household name now thanks to Fox's Empire.
But Taraji P. Henson still has an axe to grind about the way Hollywood has treated her.
In her new memoir Around The Way Girl, the actress, 46, reveals that a part written for her in the 2014 film St. Vincent was handed to Naomi Watts to play instead.
Sharing her story: Taraji P. Henson, pictured outside the GMA studios in New York on Tuesday, has written a memoir and she's not pulling any punches when it comes to telling it like it is
'It was a meaty gig,' she said of the role of a Russian stripper she claims was written especially for her by screenwriter and director Theodore Melfi.
'I would have loved it. Alas, I couldn’t get served at that particular restaurant,' she wrote in an excerpt obtained by USA Today.
Henson went on: 'Time and again, I’ve lost roles because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn’t see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought ‘fit’ audience expectations.'
Losing out as a black actress: Henson, 46, revealed that the role of a Russian stripper written for her in the 2014 film St. Vincent was given instead to Naomi Watts
Wow them in a printed dress like Taraji
She's starring in the hit TV show, Empire, and she's promoting her new memoir, Around the Way Girl, so Taraji P. Henson has a lot to smile about.
For latest appearance on Good Morning America, the talented actress donned a knockout dress by Bibhu Mohapatra, the second look she's worn by the Indian designer in as many days.
From the Fall 2016 collection, her midi length frock was covered in a red and black print with a dragonfly motif. Lace sleeves and a leather harness completed the design and Taraji wore it with a pair of embellished suede boots.
If you're loving Taraji's outfit as much as we are, browse the carousel below for similar styles from the Web. If you've got money to burn, go for Alexander McQueen's paisley number or go the affordable route with Lucky Brand's floral version at Amazon.
Hit: Watts starred in the Bill Murray film with Melissa McCarthy and Jaeden Lieberher. It was written and directed by Theodore Melfi
Aired grievances: She also griped that she was paid 'the equivalent of sofa change' compared to Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, her co-stars in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
It's not only how she's treated in the casting process that draws her ire but also how she's been paid too.
Henson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Queenie in the 2008 Brad Pitt film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
She writes that her salary was in 'the lowest of six figures' and 'the equivalent of sofa change' compared to the salaries of her co-stars Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Not only that, she also had to foot her own hotel bill during filming, she said.
Henson has shared her life story in the memoir Around The Way Girl, documenting how she went from a single mom in college to a Hollywood actress. She's pictured on The Tonight Show
Appearing on GMA Tuesday, the actress spoke about why she decided to share her story, warts and all, with the public.
'If my life experiences can help someone else in life, why not?' she said.
'That’s what we’re here for as humans. We make the world go ‘round. We inspire each other as humans. I can’t even tell you how many stories I look at that keep inspiring me to get up every day and fighting the good fight.'
She was a college junior age 24 when she fell pregnant with her son Marcel by her childhood sweetheart. But the relationship became abusive and she split from the father of her child, who died in 2003.
Despite being a single mom, she graduated college and moved to LA to pursue an acting career.
Her break came when she was cast opposite Tyrese Gibson in 2001's Baby Boy, followed by her standout performance as Terrence Howard's love interest in 2005's Hustle & Flow.
Hit the big time: The actress has become a household name thanks to her role as Cookie Lyon on Fox's Empire, which won her a Golden Globe in January
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