‘Person of Interest’ star Taraji P. Henson: ‘My grind is serious’
ABOVE PHOTO: "The Contingency" – Taraji P. Henson in the Season 2 premiere of "Person of Interest," Thursday, Sept. 27 (9:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS.
By Cherie Saunders
"Person of Interest" returns for its second season on Thursday (Sept. 27) with Taraji P. Henson and company picking up right where the first season left off.
Henson – a 2009 Academy Award 2009 nominee for her role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – says quality roles like this, particularly for women of color, don't just fall into one's lap because of a few critically acclaimed performances.
"I don't feel privileged. I don't feel like anybody's gonna give me anything. My grind is serious," the DC native, 42, told EURweb in an exclusive interview. "If I'm not working, I drive my people crazy. I'm like, 'What is next?'"
CBS launched "Person of Interest" one year ago with former CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel) being recruited by reclusive billionaire Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes in New York City. After the attacks of Sept. 11, (ironically, Taraji's birthday), Finch built a super computer for the government that uses info gathered from Big Brother-type surveillance cameras around the city to predict future terrorist attacks. However, Finch soon realized that the computer was predicting ordinary crimes as well.
The government wasn't trying to go after those small potatoes, but Finch wasn't so quick to let the non-terrorist crimes go unpunished – so he tracked down and recruited Reese (knowing that he has a military and CIA background) to intervene as needed and stop the crimes from happening.
Reese and Finch are assisted by NYPD Detectives Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a corrupt cop whom Reese blackmails into helping them, and Henson's character Joss Carter, who had originally been investigating Reese for being a vigilante. Carter doesn't know about the existence of Finch's supercomputer. And during the entire first season, neither Carter nor Fusco was aware that the other was secretly working with Finch and Reese. But in the season finale, their covers were finally blown with each other – setting the stage for Season 2.
Thursday's premiere, titled "The Contingency," finds Finch kidnapped by his hacker nemesis Root (from last season's cliffhanger) and Reese enlisting Carter and Fusco to help get him back.
By the way, Henson's Joss Carter is a multi-dimensional badass – having worked in the past as an Army interrogator and also a lawyer. She passed the bar in 2004, but eventually decided to trade her power suit for a detective shield.
Besides the comfort of a steady gig, Henson says this meaty role offers her a chance to release some pent up creativity each week.
"If I don't have an avenue to do that, a little piece of me dies. I feel like I'm suffocating," she told us. "I have to work. I come from a family of blue collar workers, so I know how to make things happen. I don't have time to sit still. I got time to sleep when I'm in the box."
Carter and Fusco, working for Reese and Finch without knowing it throughout Season 1, was a refreshing twist on the traditional cop show. But according to the below preview of Season 2, the big reveal will all but transform the nature of their relationship.
+ Top Story
Zoe Saldana has played an alien and a future space traveler — but taking on the role of an actual famous person proved even harder. The 34-year-old star of Avatar and Star Trek plays pianist, singer and activist Nina Simone in the forthcoming biopic Nina.
Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar. His career began in television writing for Your Show of Shows and...
Besides detailing the ups-and-downs of the turbulent, 2011 tennis season, this riveting and revealing documentary treats the audience to an intimate look at the close-knit sisters with the help of home movies from their adolescence.
His rise to success with “The Office” and his stand-up prowess quickly brought him to the attention of comedy maven Judd Apatow. Robinson made audiences question their notions of vanity, playing the sensitive bouncer in Knocked Up. He then kept audiences glued to their seats as...
A 17-year-old from Pittsburgh has won the fifth annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, performing a section of the playwright’s “King Hedley II” with powerful skill. Tambi Gxuluwe, who attends West Mifflin Area High School, took the first place trophy Monday night...
Collected and curated by Penn professor and PBS "History Detectives" host Tukufu Zuberi, forms the basis of a provocative new exhibition at the Penn Museum: Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, opening at 1:00 pm on June 2, 2013, and running through March 2, 2014.
“Twenty Feet from Stardom” - featuring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Patti Austin among others - spotlights the untold true stories of the backup singers to some of the greatest musical legends of our era. And, because their stories begin most often in church...
In the upcoming science fiction film After Earth, our home planet goes through some serious changes over the next 1,000 years. So it’s fitting that the film’s stars, actor Will Smith and his son Jaden, would take some time to envision what the future of Earth might entail.