**EXCLUSIVE**5 Questions: Taraji P. Henson & LeToya Luckett

By on April 24, 2014
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Actress Taraji P. Henson is an Oscar nominated entertainment tour de force.  The 43 year old Washington DC native captured our attention with her unforgettable performances in “Hustle & Flow,”  “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad…” ” The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Four Brothers.”  It was her breakout role in the film “Babyboy” however, that endeared her to fans as the consummate girlfriend next door.

Taraji recently checked in with EssentialLyfe.com to chat it up about her latest movie, “From the Rough” in which she stars as a groundbreaking championship-winning golf coach.

Joined by her co-star, LeToya Luckett, the talented duo shared the general theme of the film and why you should go see the Lee Daniels directed movie.

5 Questions with  Taraji P Henson & Letoya Luckett…

1. What can you share about your role in “From the Rough”?

TPH:  Well, I play Catana Starks…who is a professor/coach from Tennessee State University (a historically black university) and at the time she was a professor there, they started a men’s golf team. No one wanted to take the job, so she did. With all the odds stacked against her – people hated on her, didn’t think she could do it – well, she took this team to the NCAA Division 1 championship and won.

They beat everybody. To this day, her record, and her team’s record, has not been beat. When you think of men’s teams, you don’t think female coaches. It’s easy for people to see all female teams with male coaches, no one ever questions that. But I’m sure there are other women, other coaches in the world besides Dr. Starks. I’m just glad that I was part of bringing her story to life, because it’s very powerful.

2.  LeToya as one of the “new kids” on the set, what was your experience while filming?

It was a lot of fun. A learning experience, especially working around big players in the game like Taraji P. Henson and Michael Clark Duncan. I learned so much especially with Taraji. I’ve always admired her not only as an actress but as a person. The way she carries herself, so I was blessed with the opportunity to share a screen with her and be able to sit back and just learn honey. And watch her jump into a character, I don’t care what jokes were played on the scene I mean right before they yelled “action” she’d have her fun but when it came down to film and get in to that character she jumped right in to it.

3.  There are so many images out there right now with the various “wives of this” and “loves of that” shows that portray African American females as angry, and disrespectful baby mama’s who can’t get along. How important was it for you to participate in a project that not only is inspirational to anyone who watches it but also shows an image of strength and determination?

  LL: For me, it was very important.  As you said, there are so many different images out there already, it’s an honor to be  a part of a project that brings a story like this to life. I know many people will be touched.

TPH: The main thing for me is that people go see it. We can’t continue to complain about the way we’re portrayed in film, on tv and music and then not support the positive things that come out. We fought so hard to get this movie out, we filmed this movie a couple of years ago and we’re just now seeing it hit theaters. So when positive messages are being shared…SUPPORT IT! We have the opportunity to prove to Hollywood that we want to see more of these types of stories.

 4.  “From the Rough” was the last film that veteran actor Michael Clarke Duncan was a part of before his untimely passing. How was it working with him?

TPH: “Working with Michael Clark Duncan was amazing. I was so honored to share the screen with him. Still hurt that he’s not here, I can’t believe it. There were a lot of laughs, we had a lot of good times, and I hate that he’s not going to be on this journey to see this.

Every time someone says (how was it working with Michael Clark Duncan?) it’s weird. You forget, and then you get reminded.

It’s gonna be bittersweet. We finally get a premiere. We finally get this film on the big screen. And then we have one of our members who won’t be there with us, it’s just sad.”

5.  When does “From the Rough” open and where can our readers find out more about it? The film is out April 25! and http://fromtherough.com is where you can find more info.

Our thanks to Taraji and Letoya. Be sure to check out the film this weekend. In the meantime, here are a few photos from the red carpet movie premiere.

Photos via Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America

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