Taraji P. Henson shares why she takes 'great responsibility' in all roles

The actress discusses her role in the new movie "The Best of Enemies" and how the cast of "Empire" is doing in light of the controversy surrounding Jussie Smollett.
8:22 | 04/04/19

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Transcript for Taraji P. Henson shares why she takes 'great responsibility' in all roles
Taraji P. Henson is a busy woman right now. She's back on the set of the hit series "Empire" and starring in the powerful new movie "The best of enemies," the true story of an unlikely friendship between a black civil rights activist and a leader of the kkk. Please welcome taraji P. Henson. ������ Hello. Thank you. You look fabulous as always. Thank you. You look terrific. Thank you. They love you. Are you announcing for president too? I match the audience today. I match everybody in the audience. You know, taraji, I love the work that you've been doing in the mental health space. Thank you, very dear to me. You spoke so much about your own experience with anxiety and depression. You've done so much work with your Boris Lawrence Henson foundation. I love that work. Thank you. It was reported yesterday that Britney spears checked herself into a mental health God bless her. When you hear stories about famous people, do you relate in some ways about what they're going through and what message can you share with them? Yes. I absolutely relate. Not even knowing what they're getting help for, but I understand the pressures. Look, it's hard in life period, for anybody. Yeah. Then when you are doing what you love and everything you do is looked -- your whole life is looked at through a microscope and anything you do wrong or anything you make a mistake and be human and say, you get canceled or you get dragged. That's a lot for someone. At the end of the day we're all human. Just because I'm in the limelight doesn't mean I'm Jesus Christ and you can touch the hem of my robe. People put too much pressure on us. They forget we're real people and we go home to very real problems. To my own head space, sometimes it's not so happy. That's why you're so good on screen. People can see your realness. I want to get to the "Best of enemies." Wow it's a powerful film. It's placed in 1971 in Durham which was at the time very rough. My favorite line is you say the same god made you that made me. Tell us about it. It's based off a true story. Yes. Ann Atwater wasn amazing woman. She didn't have a lot of money. She had compassion and the love of god in her heart. Right now we're very divided in this world. I hear people say I'm a Christian, I'm this and that. If you consider yourself a Christian, you better know how to love how god loves. It's all inclusive and unconditional. Here's the kicker. The hardest part is that means you also have to love your enemies. We're in a place right now where we're not doing that. It's hard to do. The problem is we're not listening to each other. We're just yelling and screaming and feeling safe with our Twitter thumbs. No one would ever say half the stuff Ty're saying to people if they had to sit in front of another human. That's the problem we have. Social media is numbing us all. It's numbing us. We're forgetting that these are real people who have feelings. That's what that movie is about. It's the connection between two people and how it had the power to change so much. Absolutely. Ann had to be the change she wanted to see. That's very real. As long as she fought hate with hate, yelling and screaming at each other, they were just jer bells in a wheel spinning. Let's look at a clip at this. A mighty fine afternoon. Now you listen to me councilman. We have ain't going now where until we get to the brass tacks. Everything all right here? Mr. Odem, we've been sitting here for over a half hour and the councilman -- Ann, we're going to give you your chance to speak tomorrow are we good now? Not yet. It took place in 1971. You know, a lot of people thought that after president Obama we were like in a post racial society now. It feels so poignant. How do you feel about the relevancy? That's why I picked up the phone and said we have to make the movie. I went from cookie to Ann Atwater with no break. I'm not a politician. I'm not an activist. My activism comes through my I take a great responsibility in the roles I pick. Somethings I do for fun. A lot of stuff I do is because representation is important across the board, across the it's so important to tell every story you can. Everybody needs someone to look up to or some kind of, hey, that reminds me of me. Maybe I should change some things in my life. We need to be reminded of what it was like. That's what an artist's job is. It reflects the times. Let's talk about "Empire." You play of course the fabulous cookie Lyon. Last week a Hollywood agent approached cookie about building her brand. Take a look. Try Oprah or Beyonce. Child, I'm busy. Thanks for your time. What if I told you you could fill in on "The view" for whoopi when she goes on vacation? I would say you're blowing smoke up my . Joy, asked what you just Say it again. I said you're . What's your position her? There would be a lot of bleeping. She could be you, joy. You get a little -- I know. It's the good thing about the show. I love it. It's girl power. That's right. And we will change the world. There's always a lot of talk about "Empire." It's a hugely popular show. Recently jussie smollett has been in the news. The charges against him have been developed. You say you're, quote, happy the truth has been set free. Have you spoken to jussie? Yeah. I speak to jussie all the time. He's doing well. We're all doing well. We're on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to drum up some juicy stuff for you. Is jussie going to be on the show? Yes. I have haven't heard anything else. This is the sixth season? Yes. All right. Our thanks to taraji P. Henson. See her in "Empire" on Wednesday nights. Her new film "The best of enemies" is in theaters tomorrow. You better go check it out.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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