Taraji P. Henson says Tyler Perry was the first to pay her half a million for a role

The actress and singer was born Sept. 11, 1970. She graduated from Howard University with a drama degree. Her breakout film was 2001's "Baby Boy," which starred Tyrese. The Oscar-nominee has worked alongside Brad Pitt, Tyler Perry and more. Her credits include "Empire," "Hidden Figures," and "Acrimony." In 2016, she released her memoir "Around the Way Girl."

In an honest interview for Variety's "Actors On Actors" series, actresses Taraji P. Henson and Ellen Pompeo got real about the pay gap in Hollywood.

Opening up about the struggle to secure high-paying jobs, the "Empire" star revealed Tyler Perry was the first studio head to give her half a million dollars for a role.

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“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 said. “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.”

Henson starred in Perry’s “The Family That Preys” and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”

Read the full interview at variety.com.