“Why are Surprised?”
Taraji P Henson has said she was “gutted” to take home $40,000 (£28,247) for her role inThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The actor earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as Queenie in the 2008 movie, the woman who raises Brad Pitt’s Benjamin, who ages in reverse.
In a recent interview on the Ladies First With Laura Brown podcast, Henson reflected on the fee she had requested for the film. “I felt like what I was asking, at that time of my career, was fair to the ticket sales that I would contribute to this big film,” she said. “[The studio] wouldn’t do it… and then I was gutted.”
She explained that, after paying her team, she took home $40,000 for her role in the box office hit that grossed over $335.8m (£237m) worldwide.
The star said the experience helped her to realise her worth and start standing up for herself. However, she said that has led to her being labelled with the “strong Black woman” stereotype.
“I understand why we took that on, Black women being the bottom of the totem pole, never being seen,” she said.
“I understand, but it’s when others go, ‘Yes, strong Black woman!’ and then it dismisses us… Then if my child or somebody I know is gunned down in the streets, I’m supposed to be strong through that? I’m not allowed to be angry? I’m not allowed to be pissed off?. I can’t say [anything back] because you’ve taken everything from me. I’m not allowed to feel that? I’m just supposed to be strong?”