Henson – an Academy Award winner for the “Hustle and Flow” song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” and 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.