Taraji P. Henson scores her ‘Fatal Attraction’ role in ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’
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NEW YORK — Tyler Perry says he knew if he was going to have Taraji P. Henson star in his latest film, he would have to work fast.
The writer-director filmed “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony,” his third collaboration with the actress, in a mere eight days.
Perry said it was easier to film the revenge thriller around Henson’s “Empire” shooting schedule because she comes in prepared for a role, and she’s especially good at playing bad characters.
“She’s a director’s dream,” he said at the film’s premiere earlier this week. “She knows exactly what you want. She knows exactly where to go.”
The actress plays a woman who becomes unhinged after being scorned by her ex-husband. “Acrimony” grossed $17.1 million domestically in its opening weekend, second only to the new Steven Spielberg blockbuster “Ready Player One” with $41.2 million.
The film represented a new challenge for both Perry and Henson.
Henson said she was enticed to the project by Perry’s pitch that it would be her chance to play a character type she’d wanted to play for years.
“We all saw ‘Fatal Attraction,’ right? And as a young actor with dreams, that was always a character I wanted to play,” Henson said. “Whenever you see a great actor portray a role, it’s always on the bucket list to actors. I know for me it was, so that’s the thing that made me sign on because when he called he said this is your Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction’ moment. And I was like, ‘I’m down.’ ”
The film represented the opportunity for Perry to return to a genre he became fascinated with while filming his role in “Gone Girl,” director David Fincher’s adaptation of the novel.
“After doing ‘Gone Girl,’ I wanted to do a thriller. I wanted to see and show what I learned on that film, and what just pretty much felt like I was in school,” he said.
One thing Perry didn’t emulate was Fincher’s meticulous style that features multiple takes of scenes. He said his production was faster because there were fewer people making decisions.
“When it’s just me making the decision and choices, it cuts down a lot of the time. So we moved really fast. I didn’t have a whole lot of time with Taraji because she was shooting ‘Empire,’ so we had to do it quickly.”