Taraji P. Henson, known for her roles in “Hidden Figures” and “The Color Purple,” recounted in her 2016 memoir, “Around the Way Girl,” the pivotal role Tyler Perry played in ensuring she received fair compensation in Hollywood, a struggle she’d long faced.
Henson has openly discussed her ongoing battle for equitable pay in the industry, highlighting that it was Tyler Perry who, for the first time, readily agreed to the compensation she requested for her work. Their collaboration began on a positive note, marking a fruitful partnership that has continued to yield successful results.
The duo has collaborated on three films together:
1. 2008’s “The Family That Preys,” where Henson played a supporting role alongside acclaimed actresses like Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, and Sanaa Lathan.
2. 2009’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” marking Henson’s first leading role in a movie, portraying a struggling singer named April.
3. 2018’s “Acrimony,” a psychological thriller depicting a wife pushed to her limits by her husband’s deceit.
Reflecting on their partnership, Henson expressed gratitude for Perry, acknowledging that his willingness to pay her fairly set a benchmark for her subsequent negotiations. Despite Henson’s breakout Oscar-nominated performance in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” it was Perry’s acknowledgment of her worth that empowered her to demand fair compensation in her future roles.
Tyler Perry’s pivotal support didn’t end with fair pay; he continued to offer significant career opportunities. Perry reached out to Henson after the Oscars in 2009, offering her the lead role in “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” which marked a significant milestone in her career.
Their collaborations have been interspersed over time, with a gap of almost ten years before teaming up again for “Acrimony.” Henson mentioned Perry’s discerning approach to selecting projects, emphasizing that when Perry approaches her for work, he ensures it’s a project of substantial quality. She highlighted the trust she has in Perry, citing his consistency in offering her meaningful roles and quality opportunities as the reason for their ongoing collaboration.