BestsellerMagazine.com - CATEGORY Report metro: TITLE
Taraji P. Henson was looking for a way to bring families together. The fact that she gets to dress up as a reindeer was a bonus.
Henson returns Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. on Fox as the host of “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays,” an hour of Christmas music and sketches. She’s joined by her pals Jussie Smollett, Fergie, Ciara, Chaka Khan, the Ying Yang Twins, Leslie Odom Jr., Salt-n-Pepa, Niecy Nash, Tituss Burgess, Taye Diggs and Jay Pharoah.
Fergie and Smollett perform a smoldering duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Odom, a Tony Award winner best known these days as Aaron Burr from “Hamilton,” joins Diggs, Pharoah, Burgess and Henson in a sendup titled “Prancerton.”
That’s where Henson doesn’t throw away her shot at playing a reindeer.
“I love it,” she tells the Daily News. “I love costumes. I still dress up every year for Halloween.”
She also gets plenty of costume drama in her day job as Cookie Lyon on Fox’s hit drama “Empire,” which will air a mid-season finale Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
Cookie has a wardrobe as big as her personality, which is large enough to have made Henson arguably the most prominent star on network TV these days.
In fact, Henson admits she sometimes has to dodge Cookie’s shadow.
“I understand why people see me and think of her, because she’s such a powerful personality,” says Henson. “But it’s very important to me to diversify the roles I play. When you play one character all the time, you can start to rely on a bag of tricks. I want to keep challenging myself.”
Earlier this year she got rave reviews for playing a rocket scientist, literally, in the movie “Hidden Figures.” She’s doing at least four movies in 2018.
“White Hot Holidays” is a passion project that Henson brought to Fox in 2015, before “Empire” exploded.
She saw it as a family affair in two ways, the first of which was to showcase the Lyon family. That first year it was cohosted by Terrence Howard, who plays Cookie’s “Empire” husband Lucious.
“The whole (Lyon) family was part of it the first year,” says Henson. “I thought it would be fun to see everyone in a Christmas setting.”
Especially, as fans of the drama set in the music world know, because “peace on Earth” and other Christmas mantras aren’t exactly the code by which the Lyon family always lives.
The next year, she says, “The others didn't want to do it, which was fine. They’re busy.”
So she decided to do it herself. “I love Terrence to death,” she says. “But this is my show.”
And it still had that second goal: bringing together families other than the Lyons.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to do a variety show,” Henson says. “I grew up loving Carol Burnett, Donny and Marie, Sonny and Cher, where the whole family could watch.
“These days, with Hulu, Netflix and all the rest,” she adds, “every member of the family is in their own room watching their own thing. This is a show they can all enjoy.”
Henson’s personal favorite Christmas song, for the record, is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Most of her other faves are what we’ve heard on the show. This year, she notes, that includes “the Donny Hathaway version of ‘This Christmas.’”
While Henson is in high demand these days, she’s now on “winter break” through Jan. 3, which enables her to not only watch, but live-tweet “White Hot Holidays” Thursday.
“I’m sometimes critical when I watch my own performances,” she says. “But I’ve learned to lighten up. At that point, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Taraji.
BestsellerMagazine.com, latest News Around the world presents the latest information of national, regional, and international, politics, economics, sports, automotive, and lifestyle.
Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/taraji-p-henson-white-hot-holidays-sends-hamilton-article-1.3678262