*He recently portrayed a young Ralph Tresvant in “The New Edition Story.”
Currently, he is Taraji P. Henson protégé.
Jahi Di’Allo plays Danny, a little boy who crosses paths with a contract killer when a professional hit goes bad, in the upcoming “Proud Mary.“ Film lead and executive produced, Henson sat down with EUR correspondent Fahnia Thomas and shared what she taught her young her co-star.
Q: How do you turn Mary, the unnurturing assassin off and turn on ‘normal life’ as Mrs. Henson?
Henson: I have played a lot of deep, heavy characters in my career, I just have a switch. I don’t know, people are amazed at it actually because I can literally snot cry, ugly face cry, and they’ll yell cut and I can be like, ‘girl, so anyway, back to what I…’ [laughing]
I love Jahi Di’Allo (plays Danny) so much. I made him my protégé. He has it, he has the gift. He can do it on cue, he can cry and all. But he’s a kid, he’s new to this so he’s working and trying his instrument. I told him, ‘baby, that’s great you can cry but it’s not about the tears. I’m not moved by a person who cries…’ I have friends who cry and those are the ones who get on my nerves. It’s like, ‘girl, pull it together [laughing]. Every moment is not the end of the world, stop it…’ What moves me is when you don’t cry because for most people, that is when they’re the most sacred, it’s a private moment. You don’t want people to see you cry. So when you’re fighting those tears back, that is when it comes naturally.
I’ve played enough characters to know my instrument, so I know when to turn it on and when to turn it off. As a matter of fact, please don’t call me by my characters names. I hate that I’m ‘Cookie’ now. People will call me Cookie on the street and I cringe. Because I’m the type of actor who can get away from the character. As soon as they say, ‘cut,’ I’m out of it. I still have to be me, I have to be me in portraying these characters or otherwise you go mad. It’s just a job.
Screen Gems “Proud Mary” directed by Babak Najafi (London Has Fallen) opens nationwide on January 12th.