Taraji P. Henson Brings Cookie Lyon To ‘Hidden Figures’ Clip, Pharrell Previews Soundtrack

You can take Taraji P. Henson out of Empire for a bit, but her character Cookie always stays with her. Cookie and the Lyon family will return to our TVs on Sept. 21, but right now Henson is promoting her new film Hidden Figures at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, Henson plays real-life mathematician Katherine Johnson, a mastermind genius who worked at NASA in the 1960s.

And while Cookie and Katherine exist in different time periods and different mediums, Henson couldn’t help but bring a little Cookie to Hidden Figures. “Because I had not properly deconstructed from Cookie, I was trying to be Katherine but still handling him like Cookie but trying to keep it together,” Henson told People Magazine. “That scene, I didn’t nail, and the Virgo in me would not let me sleep, would not let me eat. I literally started throwing up my food.”

Taraji P. Henson Hidden Figures
Taraji P. Henson Hidden Figures

Henson told People that she just wants to make the real-life Johnson proud with her performance in the film. “For me, it’s how will she be moved? Is she going to be proud? All that other stuff I didn’t care about. It wasn’t about an award. Like, I don’t care. It’s about Katherine. Will she feel and see herself in that moment?”

Also at the TIFF, Pharrell Williams previewed the Hidden Figures soundtrack, which he produced and composed. “I also want all the young girls, regardless to what color you are, I want you to see this film and recognize that not only can you do it, but it’s actually already been done,” he said at the preview, according to Billboard.