Taraji P. Henson revealed that director Tyler Perry was the first person to cut her a check for $500,000.
Taraji sat down with 'Grey's Anatomy' star Ellen Pompeo to discuss the pay gap in the entertainment industry as part of Variety’s 'Actors on Actors' series.
"I think the industry knew I was talented. But it’s about money. Are you bankable? I had to continuously prove that. I’ve been trying to prove and improve. I was asking for half a million. I didn’t get paid that until I did my first Tyler Perry film," she told Pompeo.
"He was the first person who paid me $500,000. I was never in a position where I could not take a job; by the grace of God, they have all been really good characters. But it was never a situation where I was like, “I’m not going to do that.” Now, I’m finally there.”
Taraji also revealed that she was getting paid less than her co-star Terrence Howard during the first few seasons of the show, despite her being the one who suggested that Fox recruit him.
“But when all the tweets were about Cookie, I said, “It’s time to renegotiate. Can everybody sit down at the table, please?” I’d been in the game long enough to know the numbers game, and I knew Cookie had become iconic. You need her. So, I need my money.”
Henson reportedly now receives $250,000 per episode on 'Empire.'