The “Empire” star discussed her grandmother, who was in attendance, and how her prayers and support inspired the actress throughout her career.
“You put me on the spot! But, what I love about my grandmother is her unconditional love,” she explained to ET’s Courtney Tezeno spoke after the ceremony. “She taught the family how to love, and she keeps us very close. All my cousins and I are really, really close. But of course, she prayed. She did a lot of praying and she continues to pray for me, and like I said in my speech, her prayers definitely brought me here. So, my grandmother’s my everything.”
Mary J. Blige and John Singleton were on hand for the event, where Henson revealed that her next project will her reunite her with award-winning director for a film about Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Black boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman in a grocery store.
“It’s going to be bittersweet, because yes, it’s a story that absolutely needs to be told,” she shared. “But you know, when I play those dark — I’m such a bright person, you know?”
But she noted her fear of having to go to some pretty dark places emotionally for the project.
“I’m, like, dreading a little bit having to stay in those places for however long it takes us to film it, but I’m ready for it,” Henson added. “I’m ready for the challenge, because, again, I do work that hopefully affects and moves humanity forward in a positive way.”
You can next catch Taraji P. Henson starring in “What Men Want” (a remake of the Mel Gibson comedy “What Women Want”) in theaters Feb. 8.