Taraji P. Henson Gives Us 1960s Jackie O Glamour In “Harper’s Bazaar”

"It took me a minute to get on the chic bus."

Taraji P. Henson will return to the breakout role of Cookie Lyon when Empire’s second season premieres next month. But the 44-year-old actress is stunning us right now in a profile piece in the current issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

The accompanying photo spread, shot by Michael Avedon is straight up 60s glam—Jackie O. meets Jacqueline Susann. But Henson says when it comes to acting, she takes a cue from an earlier generation.

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“I always studied Bette Davis,” she explained. “When I did my first film, Baby Boy, [director] John Singleton’s mother called me ’Bette Davis Eyes.’ So I bought Bette’s entire collection. She can say so much with her eyes. It all bubbles under the surface.”

The Oscar nominee admits the show’s success has made it harder to go unnoticed. “It was quiet [before], it was a quiet success. I could still live,” she said. “Now it’s like… ”

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And we can expect to see plenty of Cookie costumes this Halloween.

“I’ve seen babies dressed up like Cookie, men dressed up like Cookie, dogs dressed up like Cookie.” She offers a sly note. “But you have to be into drag. If you’re not, it may not come off right.”

Duly noted.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery