The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
She expected to be paid somewhere in the mid six figures, but alas she received “the equivalent of sofa change” compared to the salaries of co-stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Her paycheck was near “the lowest of six figures” and she had to pay her own location fees while filming in New Orleans, meaning three months of hotel expenses would be coming directly out of her pocket.
On Being a Black Woman in Hollywood
"There are way more talented black actresses than there are intelligent, meaningful roles for them, and we’re consistently charged with diving for the crumbs of the scraps, lest we starve."
"This is exactly how a studio can get away with paying the person who’s name is third on the call sheet of a big-budget film less than 2 percent what it’s paying the person whose name is listed first. I knew the stakes: no matter how talented, no matter how many accolades my prior work had received, if I pushed for more money, I’d be replaced and no one would so much as a blink."
“Time and again, I’ve lost roles because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn’t see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought ‘fit’ audience expectations,”
The role of the pregnant stripper in the critically-acclaimed dramedy “St. Vincent” was originally written for her by the film’s screenwriter and director, Theodore Melfi, but the role would be filled by Naomi Watts.
“It was a meaty gig. I would have loved it. Alas, I couldn’t get served at that particular restaurant."
“I was grateful for the work (I Can Do Bad All by Myself), but even more, I’m grateful to Tyler for putting me on the road to being paid my Worth. It was he who gave me a fair wage to star in his movie, which ultimately raised my quote — the baseline pay I could negotiate going into subsequent movie deals... It was because of him — not an Oscar nomination — that I never had to take another movie project at the rock bottom of six figures.”
Her tumultuous relationship with her son’s father, Mark. At one point, during a dispute, he became physically abusive. Henson ended their relationship after that fight, but Mark learned to deal with his anger and remained a part of the child’s life until his death in 2003.
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