Is there anything Taraji P. Henson can’t do? The actress has become a bona fide star over the last year thanks to her fiery performance as Cookie Lyon on Empire. And as her Wednesday night appearance on The Tonight Show attests, Henson can turn even the most ridiculous scenarios into riveting drama. Host Jimmy Fallon challenged her to a round of The Acting Game, in which each participant would have to act out a weird scenario as a one-sided phone conversation.
The first challenge for Henson (after she completed her various warm-ups) was to play Cookie as an astronaut who just found out NASA has extended her space mission by six months.
“Oh honey, that’s gotta be wrong, check the stats,” Henson said to her imaginary NASA commander. “See I got a nail appointment, I haven’t been waxed. I’m looking like a woolly mammoth up here. There are no sidewalks on the moon, sweetheart. Fur does not work well in space.”
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Fallon’s challenge was to tell Queen Elizabeth what to watch on Netflix, having just finished eating a burrito and full of gas. Then it was back to Henson again, as a woman in the hospital room with a friend giving birth to triplets, answering a phone call from the husband explaining why he isn’t there.
“Your car broke down? That’s the dog ate your homework!” Henson said into the phone. “That’s baby number three right there. We want a divorce!”
Watch the full clip below.