Taraji P. Henson Reveals She Wants to Be Able to Stop the Work ‘Grind’

Taraji P. Henson Reveals She Wants to Be Able to Stop the Work ‘Grind’

Taraji P. Henson is looking to slow down and enjoy life. The Color Purple actress is getting candid about her plans for the future, and what she’s looking to do with her life and her platform.

Henson, 53, recently sat down for a profile interview with Elle magazine, and the Empire alum revealed that she’s actively looking forward to retirement, in a way.

“Well, not retire all the way,” Henson explained. “I will always work. I’m talking about the grind — [the] feeling that I have to take an acting job.”

“I really want to start enjoying the fruits of my labor more and be in a position where I can rent a yacht and call my family and be like, ‘Meet me in Spain,'” Henson added.

While Henson has found a great deal of success through her labors and can indeed dine on said fruits, that doesn’t mean the actress doesn’t like to stay grounded and live a normal life as well.

“I like to peruse the aisles in Target and Walmart. Can I afford to have somebody go for me? Absolutely. But then it makes me disassociate from the humans that I have to play in real life,” Henson said. “How’s that helping me in my work, if I’m never around humans? I’m not going to subject myself to isolation because of what I do.”

“I’m a Virgo. I’d rather do it myself,” she said.

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However, having had the success she’s enjoyed, it’s also allowed her to pursue philanthropic efforts close to her heart. One particular endeavor she’s worked hard to cultivate is the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her late father.

The foundation explains its mission as one of “embracing ancestral roots, celebrating cultural heritage, cultivating self-love, prioritizing self-care, fostering community connections, embracing creative expression, promoting mental health education, fostering open dialogue, and empowering one another.”

One of its primary goals is raising awareness of mental health, and destigmatizing the subject, particularly in Black communities.

“Acting put me on a platform, and I always thought that I was touching lives through acting, but this foundation is actually saving lives,” Henson told the publication. “I’m grateful that acting led me to a larger life purpose.”

Henson has been very open about her own mental health journey in the past, and created a talk show series, Peace of Mind With Taraji P. Henson, to share her struggles with other celebs and friends.

“[I’m] much better…” Henson told ET’s Kevin Frazier in October 2021, and got candid about her own struggles with “suicide ideation.”

“It’s not that you’re really gonna go forth with it, it’s just thoughts running through your mind when you’re at your lowest,” Henson explained. “And for me, because I’m in therapy, I knew that saying it out loud and getting it out of my head would deaden it.”

In February 2021, Henson admitted to relating to  Tamar Braxton’s suicidal thoughts, previously telling ET, “Every day is a struggle. I found myself struggling with not knowing or just giving up. Sometimes it just becomes too much and that is why the show is so important. Because when you see me, [hear] someone say that, then you don’t feel alone.”

“You feel embarrassed to have those thoughts, and why?” she added at the time. “Why should you feel embarrassed? That is a real thought that you’re having in real time. Don’t shun it. It’s real. Deal with it.”



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