GO­ING BIG ON SMALL SCREEN

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH -

Af­ter her Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance in The Cu­ri­ous Case Of Benjamin But­ton, Taraji P. Hen­son found her­self the tar­get of tele­vi­sion bosses fall­ing over them­selves to sign the star.

With the same swag­ger as in her lat­est role in Ten’s US drama se­ries, Em­pire, Hen­son talks about the dif­fer­ence be­tween mak­ing it big on the big screen then go­ing small.

“You don’t get much time on tele­vi­sion … it can be a bit rushed, it feels a bit rushed,” the 44-year-old says. “You have to cram in eight pages a day, in­stead of, in film, you do one page a day, you know, so you can let scenes breathe and mo­ments breathe.”

How­ever, Em­pire has be­come a mon­ster hit, pulling record au­di­ences for Fox in the US and mak­ing TV A-lis­ters of its cast.

The strength of the show, she says, is good scripts, telling the story of a hip-hop fam­ily em­broiled in in­her­i­tance is­sues.

Sniff­ing a hit, Hen­son de­scribes the show’s rat­ings suc­cess as “the per­fect storm.”

It also has a sound­track not heard since Glee. Hen­son knew they were on song when ex­tras would ask if they could down­load the tracks af­ter hear­ing them on set.

“I al­ready knew the mu­sic was gonna be a hit.” / HOLLY BYRNES

EM­PIRE, TEN, SUN­DAY, 9PM

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