Tag Archives Taraji P. Henson

#CivilChat: Jason Bolden Talks Integrity, Being a Stylist, Working with Taraji P Henson, & More

For those who may not know, Jason Bolden is the stylist behind some of the most iconic looks seen on some of your favorite Hollywood entertainers. His ever growing clientele includes ‘Empire’ actress Taraji P Henson, ‘Grown•ish’ actress and activist Yara Shahidi,  professional tennis player Serena Williams, actress and singer Venessa Hudgens and we’re just getting started.


“I’m Jason Bolden. I am a creative director. Most people know me as working with some of the most culture shifting men and women in the arts. I come from really humble beginnings, in the Midwest of Missouri. And coming from the Midwest, this is one career that your parents probably don’t want you to do — being a physician, attorney, engineer, or teacher is the safe and easy way to go. So, I took a risk and left St. Louis right after high school. I moved to Chicago and attended college. I decided that what I wanted to go to school for was not really what I loved. And I found myself, following my intuition. I placed myself in luxury retail, where I respect what’s the closest thing that I could get to fashion.

A lot of what I do right now, probably still today never existed.

I went through the classic stage of just being a person of color, on the planet and now I’m kind of at the forefront of it. I’ve been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter, Business of Fashion (BoF), Vogue, and other stylists and individuals with creative or really strong creative sense. So, my journey now is pretty interesting.

I come from a place where I watch how chic and effortless my grandmother was and how sensible and creative my mother was when it came to furniture and being able to manipulate how how it looks during the winter or summer time. So I’ve always had those sensibilities. Those two iconic women in my life just kind of lead into the iconic women I work with now — Ava DuVernay, Yara Shahidi, Amy Cheryl, Taraji P Henson, and the list goes on and on. Serena Williams.


I think what it was, was my gut. And my confidence; my voice. I manifested and believed in what I really felt was true and I knew I could be that. Its like the idea of “everything that on the planet is for you.” So I just always thought subconsciously, that I was already living my life that way.

A lot of it was also immature ego. I believed that I could conquer things, but now looking back, that’s exactly how I constantly try to think; minus the ego. When it comes to my work ethic, It’s always been the same. I think that’s why my career constantly keeps moving — because it just gets stronger and louder. Its just now, I’m just in front of people who actually see it. We have social media, so now people can actually be exposed to the work you put in.

Creating outstanding looks for usual clients was never a problem for Bolden. Each look stems from a client conversation that inspires the look for each occasion.

Being able to involve people and get new points of view should come through conversation. Conversations that I have with Yara, conversations that I have with Taraji, Sasha Blane are all different. Ryan Coogler. It’s pure conversation and it ignites something within me to dig deeper and look into what’s happening on the planet.

I just left Paris and being able to see what Valentino did at the couture shows was eye opening. The show was loaded with women of color that looked like people that I work with. That’s inspiration to me. And that kind of takes me to a space to look at archival things. Like what Johnson Publications did with Ebony and Jet like; it’s allowing me push my knowledge and study a bit more.

A lot of people think its just about the beautiful clothes but you also have to think about what will translate the appropriate way for your clients. Like I can’t put the same thing on Serena Williams that I put on Yara Shahidi. I can’t put the same things that I put on Ava DuVernay on Taraji P Henson. So it’s a bit more.

It’s a bit more if you come to really think about it and it becomes very personal in things that you feel will truly resonate with a person.

For me it’s all a bonus to that to work with those beautiful humans.


I am a firm believer in a vision board and I put a lot of these people on my board. I really believe in manifestation and the fact that is no one can deny talent. For a really long time in the fashion business, people of color have been denied because we had no real access. We had no real visual space, but now with social media, you have the visual space and cannot deny what the work is. I’ve been able to garner clients just through social media.


I love love love substance. I love confidence. I love an outgoing and outstanding voice and I think that’s what it is. When you look at my list my roster of guys and girls they all speak the same language. At the end of the day, it’s you that everybody is fighting for, human rights and rights [just trying to not avoid the uncomfortable conversation that is].

I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who actually understand that and actually want to do something with their platform. I’ve been lucky in that sense. Like all my people pretty much know how to speak the big black language — it’s about shifting the culture.

Putting people at the front who have always deserve the same opportunity.


I’m a bit different than most stylist. I normally dream of something and when I wake up, I have an idea. Then, I literally just start digging for content that matches; and present it to my client. I don’t normally go shopping with them because they’re also very busy and they’ve entrusted this part of their lives to me, which I’m happy about.

I’m lucky enough to present things to them and they luckily, over the years been enjoying it.


My day to day schedule is mayhem! I wake up in the morning and start responding to emails. I speak with my assistant and virtually go from showroom to showroom. It’s literally mayhem.


Integrity. No matter what, I think that’s the focus for my life. All the other things will fall in line. After the style and glamour your baseline should be integrity.


The city that I feel has the best style is the city I grew up in. I grew up in a space that was super underground, total hipster and a blend of punk. But it was also everything that was like super expensive; like shopping at Neiman Marcus or SAKS and seeing that kind of stuff. So it was it was definitely a range of that.


I say remove all ego and listen. No ego.


Jason: I hope so. Yeah.

Kadijat: I’d love to see that.

Jason: Me to


Stick to your integrity. Don’t pay attention to what anybody is up to.

My husband tells me all the time but, I can’t remember. It goes, don’t base your life on applause, because once the applause stop. Thats it. Just do the work for the work’s sake.


Oh my God. I just had to create a look for the Golden Globes! Taraji got her dress the day before the awards. The fit was a custom Vera Wang dress and it was literally just made. She flew in at four o’clock in the afternoon. And yes that is the story of my life.



Well working working with Taraji — Taraji is my OG client, she’s the one who I would pretty much say jump started my current career. I love her. Yara is my baby, the voice of the future. When I talk about integrity. Yara is bad! But the bonus is everybody is lovely and amazing.

You know what it is. I love what I do and I’m really confident in what I do. So you know I actually I love it.







Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Seeking Mental Health Treatment At Launch Of Her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

Taraji P. Henson is opening up her closet for a good cause.

The “Empire” star celebrated the launch of The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, her nonprofit organization, on Saturday by inviting guests to purchase her personal dresses, shoes and purses in a special Los Angeles fundraising event. The foundation, named after Henson’s late father, focuses on erasing the stigma surrounding mental health issues, particularly in the African American community.

The cause is personal to Henson, whose son struggled with mental health after his father was murdered in 2003 and Henson’s father died two years later. When she started looking for a psychiatrist for her son, wanting “someone that he could trust, someone that looks like him and could understand his struggle,” she said it was very difficult because “they wouldn’t be African American and it wouldn’t get anything accomplished because he felt guilty for the things he was saying.”

“It was like looking for a unicorn, and the reason that happens is because we don’t talk about it in our community; it’s taboo, it’s looked upon as a weakness or we’re demonized for expressing rage for traumas we’ve been through,” Henson told Variety. “I have a lot of white friends and that’s what got me going. They say, ‘You don’t talk to anybody? Girl, I’m going to see my shrink every Thursday at 3 o’clock.’ So I was like why don’t we do that in our community?”

The star also pointed out the need for the cause to have a famous face attached, as she said there’s “the misconception about celebrities that we have it all together and we’re perfect and we’re not. Our kids aren’t perfect, we’re suffering and struggling just like the regular person and money doesn’t help. I thank God I can pay for the psychiatry bill but it doesn’t necessarily take away the problems.”

Later on in her speech inside the event, Henson revealed that she has also sought mental health treatment and sees a psychiatrist herself.

“I’m here to tell you that when they tell cut and the cameras go away, I go home to real problems just like everybody else,” she said, adding that she wanted to be open about her struggles so “people go, “Oh wow she’s going through it? Well I’m alright then.”

The money raised from the event, dubbed Taraji’s Boutique of Hope, marked the foundation’s first mission: bringing art to the bathrooms of inner city schools to help combat depression, bullying and suicide. Henson explains that this initiative — a partnership with artist Cierra Lynn — is because school bathrooms are “where fights happened, jumps, that’s where you got bullied because the teachers weren’t in there, so I thought that was a great thing to do to flip it. You go there to get your head together and instead of seeing hate stuff or whatever madness kids put in there, we decided to turn it into art.”

Jenifer Lewis, Lisa Vidal and John Singleton were also in attendance at the event, with Lewis joking that she and Henson are close friends because Lewis was the “original Cookie,” the character Henson plays on “Empire.” The “Black-ish” star, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 25 years ago, said that fighting against the stigma of mental illness has become an important cause for her.

“We are as sick as our secrets and it’s time for people to come together, to reach out to those who are hiding in dark rooms, reach out to those who are afraid to take the next step, reach out to those who want to be better and don’t know how to,” Lewis said.

Live Civil Catches Up With Taraji P. Henson On The Set Of ‘What Men Want’

By Posted on 190 3 m read


 ‘What Men Want’ is about Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) who is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Aldis Hodge) to the test.

WHAT MEN WANT is the latest comedy from director Adam Shankman (HAIRSPRAY) and producers Will Packer and James Lopez (GIRLS TRIP), co-starring Tracy Morgan, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Josh Brener, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Brian Bosworth, Chris Witaske and Erykah Badu.

We had to chance to talk to Taraji P. Henson on set and here are a few  tidbits were got:

How does it feel, cause you have done leading lady (we got to see Acrimony and Proud Mary), how does it feel in this type of role that is a departure from Cookie?

This is the role I have been waiting for, as a single parent who moved to LA doing a half hour sitcom was a dream role, because I still had time to go home and help my son with his homework and it didn’t require crazy hours. As God would have it, I was always doing drama, and I always wanted to do this. I have a lot to prove because I don’t do comedy and I try to put comedy in everything I do. To me, the best dramatic actresses are comedic actresses beach they dd another layer.

Some are saying that is a gift and some are saying it is a curse to read minds, would you want the type of power?

I don’t want pressure. I have enough dealing with the voices in my own head.

You were almost cast in Girl’s Trip but it didn’t work out, how do you think that changed your career?

I don’t think it changed it in any way. I didn’t help or hinder. I think I always been the type that there is enough work for everybody. I can’t do everything and I don’t want to do everything. I remember Will called me, and I don’t know what roll he had for me and I felt like it was someone else blessing. When he came back she knew what I was looking for and that was my number one position as a comedian.

Can you talk about your style evolution and the style of this movie:

They style of this project is very professional and slick. Everything is form fitting, nudes and then lighter colors towards the end. It’s comedy in wearing pumps and pencil skirts.


Taraji P. Henson Launches Mental Health Foundation in Honor of Her Father

By Posted on 69 2 m read

Taraji P. Henson is venturing into the mental health space.

In honor of her father, the Empire actress launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation to help erase the shame about mental health in African-American communities.

Through the foundation, scholarships will be provided to African-American students who major in mental health. It will also offer mental health services to kids in urban school “and combat recidivism within the prison system, according to its website.

“I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues,” Henson told PEOPLE.

Henson’s father, Boris Lawrence Henson, suffered from mental health issues following his time in the Vietnam War, according to the Foundation.

“My dad fought in the Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical and emotional support,” she said in her 2016 memoir Around the Way Girl. “I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black.”

Henson’s father died in 2006 from liver cancer.

The organization will work together with school districts to provide therapists, social workers and counselors to Black children.

“BLHF is breaking the silence by speaking out and encouraging others to share their challenges with mental illness and get the help they need,” Tracie Jenkins, executive director for the foundation, told PEOPLE. “African-Americans have regarded such communication as a sign of weakness and our vision is to change that perception.”

Is Doritos New Marketing Reminding Women To Be Seen, Not Heard The Best Choice During The #MeToo Movement?

Doritos, the vibrantly flavored tortilla chip has announced they are working on a girl version of their popular snack.

During an interview with the Freakonomics Radio show, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO explains that the a Dorito for women is in development. The women’s Dorito would be more quiet to consume. The business executive does not believe many women eat the tortilla chip snack.

“…As you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth because they don’t want to lose that taste of the  flavor and the broken chips in the bottom. Women would love to do the same but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t like to lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”

Nooyi continues to explain how her women friendly Doritos would have traditional Dorito flavor without the loud crunch and come in bags small enough to fit in a purse. Her inference of women not eating Doritos is not only wrong, it is based on age-old sexist beliefs that women should be seen not heard.

The chip made for girls pushes the idea that women should be silent and neat, despite men who are welcome to have a field day with any food they please. The sexist snack has projected the belief that women are too loud. In the day and age of political movements lead and historically the movements pioneered by women would never have been accomplished if women were forced to remain silent. Gendering a snack is a microagression against women and stereotypes an entire gender to fit a mold that has been broken for centuries.

In the dawn of a millennial feminist wave where women across all industries are rising against patriarchy. Women being loud and vocal, speaking out against sexual abuse and intimidation, women’s reproductive rights and pay equality are vital to a new age movement resulting in groups and organizations bringing women and men together in partnership.

Following the rise of  #MeToo being used for victims to tell their stories of sexaul trauma in Hollywood and other professional fields.  One aspect of the #MeToo movement is the women who speak out, loudly, being heard and seen, standing in the face of their abuser, refusing to be silenced any longer.  Most recently, superstar actresses Taraji P Henson sand Halle Berry  have spoke out about talent manager, VIncent Cirrincione, who has managed both actresses,   sexual assault allegations.

“Everyone knows how difficult this Industry has been for women and my hope is that all of these unspeakable events ignite triue change in the treatment of women in this entertainment business.” says Henson in a statement uploaded to Instagram.

Halle Berry also uploaded a statement on Instagram.

“Yesterday I was saddened by the allegations against my former manager, VIncent Cirrincione, but today I’m sick after reading the horrifying detailed accounts of his abuse towards 9 women.” says Berry

This is why the woman’s Dorito is an outdated and sexist idea. If women are pushed to be quiet, the gross behaviors of many would go unnoticed and the traumatic cycle continues. PepsiCo has since denied developing a quiet chip for women.


Taraji P Henson Stars In Upcoming Film ‘Acrimony’ Directed By Tyler Perry

Taraji P Henson is the definition of booked and busy. Henson who recently hit the big screens in Proud Mary will be back this spring, starring in Acrimony a revengeful tale of a woman scorned, directed by Tyler Perry. Taraji P Henson hopes to continue to star in a multitude of roles, stepping out of the box where Hollywood usually places black women with intentions on breaking the mold.

From Baby Boy to Hidden Figures Taraji P Henson has explored different dynamics of character roles. Her character in Acrimony is a refreshing yet dramatic role, woefully experiencing the emotional roller coaster ride of a cheating husband. Henson’s character Melissa discovers her husband has a second life where he cheats on her and betrays their marriage. Rather than sulk in sadness or forgive and move on, Melissa decides that she must get even.

The movie deviates from Tyler Perry’s typical approach to relationship and marriage drama. Acrimony also hosts the talents of Lyriq Bent (The Book Of Negroes) who stars as Henson’s mischievious husband. Acrimony is set to debut in theaters March 30th 2018. Watch the official trailer below.


Taraji P Henson And John Singleton To Bring Emmett Till Story To Film

The tragic story of Emmett Till will always be heralded as an example of the depths of the evils rampant throughout the history of the United States. At 14 years old, Till was brutally beat and murdered by a group of white men in Missisippi following allegations he offended a white woman.

The news story caught national attention as his mother, Mamie Till Mobley held an open casket funeral service, allowing the world can see her sons mutilated body highlighting the trauma black citizens are faced at the hands of their white counterparts.  Taraji P Henson and John Singleton are ensuring this story never fades by bringing it to the screen.

Henson revealed during an interview with GlobalGrind that the project has not yet been given a start date but The Emmett Till story is confirmed. John Singleton will direct the historically based film which will chronicle the short life of Emmit Till and it’s heartbreaking end. Henson will play the role of Emmett Till’s mother.

“I’ve been passionate about this one since Trayvon Martin was murdered” remarks Henson.

Vanity Fair initially reported the upcoming film along with two other projects created to tell the story of Emmett Till, February 2017.



Taraji P. Henson To Star In Gender Flipped Version of ‘What Women Want’ Remake

Paramount Players has signed Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson to star in What Men Want, a comedy inspired by the 2000 Nancy Meyers hit romantic comedy What Women Want. The studio is fast tracking the film, and has set it for release January 11, 2019.

The new version follows a female sports agent played by Henson, who has been constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When she gains the power to hear men’s thoughts, she is able to shift the paradigm to her advantage as she races to sign the NBA’s next superstar.

The film will be produced by Will Packer and James Lopez and Henson will executive produced.

Taraji P. Henson Graces October Issue of ‘Marie Claire’

From her fierce character on Empire to her award-winning role in Hidden Figures, Taraji P. Henson always lights up the big screen.

The actress recently graced the cover of Marie Claire’s October issue, and aside from looking absolutely stunning, she opened up about the importance of supporting other women, and what she hopes her legacy will be. Henson also explains that she is well-aware of the eyes on her and that she hopes that those watching her will learn her story and be inspired.

“I love black people. I love telling stories. I want these little girls to study me like I tstudied Meryl [Streep] and Bette Davis and Carol Burnett. I want them to study my work, because I put a lot of work in, a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”

As for supporting other women in the industry she states, “how can we get ahead if we’re feuding and hating on each other all the time? I made a pact years ago that I would never hate on another female, ever, especially in this industry.”

Take a look at Taraji P. Henson’s full interview with Marie Clair here.

20th Century Fox and Black Girls CODE Create FutureKatherineJohnsons.com Inspired by ‘Hidden Figures’

By Posted on 1 2 m read

20th Century Fox and Black Girls CODE collaborate to create FutureKatherineJohnsons.com, a website that is fostered by the next generation of young women who aim to make a difference like Katherine, Dorothy and Mary, characters in the upcoming film, Hidden Figures.

Black Girls CODE is a not-for-profit organization that aims to assist girls in underrepresented communities between the age of 7 and 17 that strive to have a career in technology. Their mission of Black Girls CODE is to increase the women of color in the digital space and diversify the tech industry.

“We’re so proud to partner with 20th Century Fox and have our girls participate in the FutureKatherineJohnsons.com website,” Black Girls CODE founder Kimberly Bryant said. “Building a tech future for young women of color across the country not only depends on the work of partners like 20th Century Fox, but it also relies on these girls learning the history of the great trailblazers like Katherine, Dorothy and Mary who came before them and paved the way. By seeing the story of these great women of NASA on the big screen, our girls can see themselves as the future tech leaders and innovators of today and tomorrow.”

Hidden Figures is the untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, three African-American woman who worked in NASA and help with the launch of John Glenn. The launch assisted in restoring the confidence of America in NASA, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali and more. You can see the film in select theaters on Christmas Day and everywhere on January 6, 2017.

hidden-figures-black-girls-code-livecivil hidden-figures-black-girls-code-livecivil