How Taraji P. Henson Spends Her Perfect Night In at Home

updated Nov 22, 2019
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Perfect Night In is a series where we ask actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and beyond how they’d spend the ultimate luxury—a blissful evening at home.

Guess that TV show: “The name is Cookie. Ask about me.” If you guessed “Empire,” ding ding ding! But more important than the show is who spoke those iconic words, and that’s award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson.

If you don’t watch the drama-packed series (which is currently on its final season, so you still have time to catch up!), you’ll know Henson from one of her many roles in TV and film, especially her leading role in “Hidden Figures” that tells the story of three African-American women who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space and make NASA history. She’s also kept busy over the years with writing her memoir “Around the Way Girl,” as well as various projects and partnerships, including with Kinder Bueno, which recently made their debut in the U.S.

We wanted to know what Henson does when she’s not, you know, making history or dominating the industry. Get ready for deep-fried oyster mushrooms, gold eye masks, and—surprise, surprise—lots of television.

Set the Scene

Describe your perfect homebody scene in five words: Wine, slippers, dog, sofa, bath.

Are you alone or with someone else? I’m most likely with my fiancé.

What’s your night-in uniform? I have these great Air Nike slippers, they’re high-tops but they’re knit, dope. Probably a pair of leggings and a t-shirt with holes in it, not too glamorous but very cozy.

What two people, dead or alive, would you let crash your night? Prince and probably Nelson Mandela.

Now Playing

TV or a movie? Most likely a television series because there are so many out there.

What are you watching? I just finished “Dead to Me,” I wrapped up “Snowfall.” I have five listed in my phone that I need to watch.

Silence or music? There’s either music or a movie. We’ve been rocking Wale’s new album.

E-books or the real deal? I would prefer print but when I’m traveling, I usually use my kindle. But all the books I have as eBooks I have in print at home.

Board games: yay or nay? Yay! I still like Monopoly and Life.

What’s Cooking

Order in or cook for yourself? Most likely I’m cooking, I love to cook.

What are you eating? My go-to dish has lately been deep-fried oyster mushrooms, they taste like fried chicken.

What drink are you pouring? I have to get my water intake in, that’s a must every day. I try to drink two 33-ounce bottles every day. I try to get three, on a good day I do four.

What’s for dessert? I make these brownies out of black beans, they’re vegan brownies. My backup dessert would be a cashew milk ice cream because that’s easy, you just buy that. I eat 90 percent plant-based, and I allow myself the luxury of chocolate and seafood on my cheat days.

Late-night snack? I try to keep it to fruit or nuts.

Take Care

Do you have a self-care ritual? Every night I wash my face. I use Biore, really simple, I love the charcoal products. Then I have a moisturizer that I’ve been using for 20 years, that’s Paul Scerri. I try to meditate. I also have tea that I drink and that’s what I do before I go to bed.

What do you try to avoid at all costs? I avoid the news.

Candles: yay or nay? (if yay, what’s your favorite?) Yay! I use the Ernesto by Cire Trudon.

Face masks: yay or nay? Yay! I really like the Peter Thomas Roth gold eye patches, my skin loves it. I wear the patches every day and my makeup artist told me that I shouldn’t do that, but it was becoming part of my ritual.

Bubble bath: yay or nay? Nay.

Chores: yay or nay? Yay, I guess. I like washing clothes. Other than that I leave that to my housekeeper.

Ideal bedtime? If I’m dead tired I’ll pass out, but if I’m up busy and have a lot to do I make sure to give myself at least 6 hours.

Thanks for chatting with us, Taraji!