So, there I was, clicking around the Emmys website, hoping that would make the show start sooner, and, on a page announcing some new additions to the list of Emmy presenters, with bios for everybody, I saw that Taraji P. Henson was nominated for an Academy Award. Wait, what's that now? I knew everyone was way off-base when they were talking about her being a newcomer in the industry when she finally got some well-deserved attention with Empire, but I had no idea she was walking around with an Oscar nomination under her belt. I feel like that definitely should have gotten brought up at one of the wine nights that I kept inviting her to... without her ever showing up.
But anyway, my failings as a hostess aside, there it was, right in her bio: "Taraji P. Henson – Academy Award nominee and 67th Emmy Award nominee for her starring role in Empire." It's slipped in there so casually that I almost didn't even pick up on it, but, luckily for both of us, I did, and I've now done enough clicking around on the internet to be able to tell you what's what.
That the nomination came back in 2008, for Best Supporting Actress in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which Henson played Queenie. I'm sure she was excellent, as evidenced by the nomination, but that movie has turned into such a haze of old-man-baby Brad Pitt and vaguely glowing Cate Blanchett that I had almost no memory of Henson's character at all. If you give the movie a re-watch, as I have, or if you're just obsessed with it, as you should be, then you'll know that Queenie was the proprietor at that old folks' home who took in Benjamin at the start of his journey, as she couldn't have any children of her own.
With the amount of confidence brimming out of Empire's Cookie, she could only be played by a woman who's been within grabbing distance of the most prestigious award in acting, so we should've known this bit of trivia all along. Good luck on Emmy day, Henson, although, honestly, I doubt she'll need any.
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