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Actress Taraji P. Henson is now on the A-list for casting in Hollywood, but it wasn’t always that way for the Oscar-nominated star.

In a recent interview with Ellen Pompeo for Variety’s “Actors On Actors” series, Henson reveals Tyler Perry was the first studio head to shell out a half-million dollar paycheck to her for a role.

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Continuing, “It’s not going to change until privilege reaches across the table and helps. Otherwise, we’re playing a rerun. The only narrative that I wish I could change is my money. It’s almost like they want this incredible performance for a discount price. The black movies — we don’t get big budgets. I have to wait until Scorsese or someone with a franchise film calls.”

The 48-year-old also revealed that she was making way less than her “Empire” co-star Terrence Howard when the show first became a hit. She said the fan reaction to her character helped her ask for more money on the table.

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“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.”

SEE ALSO: Lamar Odom Details Love Affair With Taraji P. Henson

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Taraji P. Henson Reveals The Very First Person That Paid Her Half A Million For A Role  was originally published on