Taraji P Henson has proven she’s one of the best dramatic actresses with roles in movies such as Hidden Figures, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and more. Throw in Cookie from Empire and her versatility is evident. Now Taraji is trying her hand at comedy in her new movie What Men Want from Will Packer Productions.
Taraji is joined by Underground star Aldis Hodge, Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield and more. She plays Ali Davis, an accomplished sports agent who’s being held back by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a promotion that she deserves, she questions what she needs to do to truly succeed in a man’s world.
We have the first trailer for What Men Want and as an added bonus I headed to Atlanta to visit the set during production and found out some exclusive details about this hilarious film. I got to see a scene being filmed with Pete Davidson, Josh Brener, and Taraji where Pete landed some hilarious jokes off the cuff about Tom Brady’s football skills coming from “Gisele Bundchen p*ssy” that had everyone on set laughing hysterically.
Xilla Valentine: Do you think they’ll keep the Gisele p*ssy line?
Pete Davidson: “I don’t know but I’m gonna keep saying it, that’s the only cut they have. Also, I feel like it’s a fact. It’s not like I’m saying something shocking.”
So that’s the key to what makes Tom Brady great?
PD: “Yeah definitely that…not the years of training or working out, it’s strictly p*ss!”
So that should give you a glimpse at just how hilarious this movie is going to be. During my time on set, I also got to chat with the producer of the film, Will Packer, who said this movie is going to show Taraji in a whole new light.
“One of the main reasons she did this film was to have the opportunity to remind people of her range and depth of talent. The great thing about when you’re in a hit tv show is that global audiences know you, and you’re defined by that character and that show. The bad thing about being on a hit tv show is that you’re defined by that character and tv show,” Will Packer said. “She is somebody who, long before Cookie, had an incredible career playing all kinds of characters in theatrical films but this is something she had not done and she was really eager to do. I can’t stress enough how important it was for her to have some levity and she wanted to laugh. People have forgotten who she really is. She’s a fun, kind of silly person who has great wit and this is showcasing that.”
Taraji was also eager to try her hand at comedy. I asked her about stepping into this realm and she replied, “Finally!” The room broke out in laughter. “I studied musical theatre so I think I know comedy.”
When Taraji first went to Hollywood to pursue acting she was hoping to land a half-hour sitcom, “Being a single mother that would’ve been the schedule that best helped me, but here I was getting all these one-hour dramatic shows. If you watch my work I try to put funny in everything cause such is life, you laugh one minute, you’re crying the next.”
With a Golden Globe win under her belt, Taraji proves she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood. I personally think people take for granted just how talented she is, so I asked her could this movie solidify her as one of the greats.
“I don’t really think like that. I don’t go, ‘this is the movie that’s going to make everybody go “Yeah!”‘ I just love work and hopefully, people get it. I don’t sit in a secret lab and say I’m gonna do this movie, and then a movie like this… You know, life happens, roles come, I either like them or I don’t. I’m kind of a workaholic.”
Taraji’s powerful performances on screen are so undeniable her name alone can greenlight a film. Now it’s time for the world to experience another facet in the depth of her range.
What Men Want hit theaters in January 2019.
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