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Taraji P. Henson Owns the November Cover of ESSENCE Magazine

The 'Empire' actress talks to us about what it's like now that the rest of the world has caught on to her awesomeness and how she's enjoying this moment in time. 

As she’s sporting that intense gaze we’ve come to know and love, one look at Taraji P. Henson on the cover of the November ESSENCE will ensnare you. In a form-fitting black Fausto Puglisi dress with amazing beading and slits that serve legs for days, she is a queen looking upon her loyal subjects. It’s a kingdom she’s worked years to acquire and continues to tirelessly show up for. 

“I’m just gonna keep amassing an audience,” says the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actress. “Everything was strategically planned. This is what all my efforts are for.” 

In our cover story, Henson peppers in wisdom and joy with healthy doses of sister-girl talk. And while she is killing it with the high fashion and fierce face on magazine covers and on the talkshow/awards show circuit, one thing the classically trained actress never forgets is the importance of taking the business of acting seriously. 

“These kids are thinking they can do reality TV and come and do this craft that I studied, sweated and grinded,” says Henson. “People forget it’s a craft because it’s so pop now…Can they make me believe the words coming out of their mouth?”

To find out what on-screen son Bryshere ‘Yaz’ Grey has to say about Henson, what the 45-year-old told her doctor about having any more babies, and how she felt about her Oscar-nominated role in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ not lighting the path to stardom as some said it would, pick up the November issue on ESSENCE, on newsstands Oct. 16.