Taraji P. Henson

Source: Taylor Hill / Getty

Taraji P. Henson has impressed many people with her role of Cookie Lyon on Fox’s hit show Empire. Now she’ll try to tackle a more serious role — playing Gertrude, the mother of the late great Richard Pryor, in Lee Daniel’s upcoming biopic about the comedian.

Taraji said in a recent interview with CR Fashion Book “You will see her go from this young, beautiful woman who is a prostitute to someone beaten down by life”.

Henson said she took the role because something about Gertrude was frightening. “I’m drawn to characters that scare the s*** out of me because I know they are going to unearth something in me”.

Mike Epps will portray the iconic comedian, while Oprah Winfrey will play Henson’s mother and Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Carter. Eddie Murphy is in the film as Pryor’s father, and Kate Hudson will play his widow. Production is set to begin in March 2016, after Daniels completes work on the second season of Empire.

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