Taraji P. Henson Says She Was ‘Miserable’ Playing One Of Her Biggest Roles

“It was stealing my joy.”

Taraji P. Henson has been making headlines recently for her efforts to spread awareness about mental health in the Black community.

The actress recently spoke before the Congressional Black Caucus Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health and held a black-tie event for her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, whose vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community.

Now, Henson’s speaking out about her own struggles, and apparently, many of them stem from acting gigs she’s had over the years.

During an interview with Variety, Taraji opened up about her departure from CBS’s Person of Interest and says she was “miserable” toward the end of filming.

“I had to leave a show before, and it was the most money I’d ever seen in my life, and I was so miserable. It was stealing my joy. I just remember praying to God: ‘God, I’m not happy creatively,’” she said. “[T]he next day, I called the producer. He got it. And I walked away, not even knowing where I was going.”

Where she ended up was performing at the Pasadena Playhouse’s world premiere of the play Above the Fold. While it was a major downgrade in pay, it more than paid off for Henson.

“I didn’t care about who was coming to the theater, executives or casting directors. It was about Taraji falling back in love with this craft,” she explained. “Fox had to woo me to do Empire. I wouldn’t read the script. I was done with television.”

In November 2013, Taraji Henson recalled when she found out her character, NYPD Detective Joss Carter, would be killed off the show. “We always knew it was going to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise,” she told TVLine. “It was just about when. But, yeah, I found out on Valentine’s Day.”

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