tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC December 9, 2016 1:07am-2:08am EST
[ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] he's so -- it looks nothing like -- it's my favorite thing i've ever seen. oh, that's good. [ light laughter ] not only is our next guest a a grammy award-winning artist, he also produced the new film, "hidden figures," which opens in select theaters december 25th and nationwide on january 6th. [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, please welcome pharrell williams! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> wow. >> jimmy: wow. >> big white spaceship, really? >> questlove: it's my favorite! >> wow. >> jimmy: yeah, they always -- they always put extra thought
into -- into every song that comes out. >> please make some noise for the greatest band. [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: oh, yeah. you look great, man. good to see you. >> thank you, man. >> jimmy: as always, i saw on either instagram or something, you were just traveling in paris. >> yes, sir. >> jimmy: were you with david blaine there or? >> yeah. >> jimmy: yeah, does he -- did he scare you? >> well, look, he's a -- he's a a friend to a lot of us. but he's the only friend you know that, like, just swallows frogs and regurgitates them at will. >> jimmy: he freaked us out. he came on -- he was the best. i've never seen magic like this in my lifetime. i was frightened. my legs were weak. he was playing -- he was like, "look at these cards." >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> jimmy: "think of a number." and i go, "okay. i'm thinking of a number." and he goes -- and he throws up a frog. and i go, "oh my god!" [ laughter ] i almost passed out. i go, i love this dude. but, i've never had that feeling in my life.
>> well, as a magician, he has the uncanny ability of making things disappear and reappear, and disappear. >> jimmy: yeah. >> where was he during the election? [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: i gotta ask him that. what are you doing -- what are you doing with adidas? you're doing a thing called, uh, is it hu? "h.u."? >> yeah, hu. >> jimmy: hu. and -- and what is that? just another collaboration? you're always doing something cool with adidas. >> man, it's -- just a lot -- it's like a platform that allows me to, like, tap into different cultures, so they can tell their stories. and at the same time, we're, like, making apparel that is about performing not just physically, but spiritually, and like emotionally. and "hu" is short for "health ultimatum," you know. it's -- it's honestly, like, i think your leader should be the person you see in the mirror. >> jimmy: that's interesting. >> yeah. >> jimmy: yeah, i've seen -- i see you're a fashionable guy. i can't pull off any of this. [ laughter ]
>> well, this is -- this is "g star." >> jimmy: i know, but -- g star -- that's in -- that's all my wardrobe is, is mostly g star. but besides that -- i don't -- i can't -- you can pull all this stuff off. you're a fashionable dude. i'm glad that -- you know fashion. what's -- what's the advice? anything for me? anything that, what's the next -- >> well, what do you got coming up? >> jimmy: what's next for me? i'm hosting the golden globes, in january. that's a big deal. [ cheers and applause ] i'm nervous but very excited. >> to me, like, i think what's most important right now, is individuality. so, whatever it is, that's going to help you shine even more. not necessarily in terms of, like, brightness, but i mean, the real you come out, i think that's what you should do. and it should be d.i.y. do it yourself. [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: do it yourself. >> yeah. >> jimmy: yeah, all right. >> on top of it. >> jimmy: okay, i can do that. >> like, just do your thing to it, you know. don't just mannequin shop. like that's -- >> jimmy: do something different. >> yeah. >> jimmy: yeah. >> that's very 2000s. >> jimmy: yes, please. i'm over the 2000s. this is a brand-new year, 2 2017, let's kick it off.
>> let's do it. >> jimmy: fresh. >> punch. >> jimmy: g star. >> yeah. >> jimmy: raw. >> raw, yeah. >> jimmy: raw, man. raw, let's get raw. you know? >> let's get raw. r.a.w. go shoot the king. >> jimmy: let's get sushi, let's get sushi on everybody. >> yes. [ light laughter ] raw like sushi. >> jimmy: yeah, exactly. let's get like medium rare, type of stuff. you know what i'm talking about? >> let's do it. >> jimmy: let's do it. >> no masago. [ light laughter ] >> jimmy: let's go like kobe, man. you know what i'm saying, dude? >> let's do it. >> jimmy: let's slice it, slice it, put it on hibachi, and be done with it, man. >> why, don't you just say it? >> jimmy: that's it, you're out man, you're done. [ laughter ] oh, man, i love you. i know you're always -- you're making great music. you're also -- i love that you just give advice and you're so very positive. i saw this girl online called maggie rogers. let me get her name correct. >> yeah. >> jimmy: you were giving a -- it was master class at n.y.u. >> yep. >> jimmy: and you were just like giving constructive criticism, to all these kids about their music and they were playing things, and you went, well, i like that. this is the thing that i thought was cool, and i like this thing.
>> yeah. >> jimmy: but then this girl blew you away. >> oh, yeah. >> jimmy: and i just want to show a clip of this. this is a video of you, because you almost get choked up listening to her. this is it, right here. pharrell williams. ♪ ♪ [ applause ] >> wow. i have zero, zero, zero notes for that. [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: you had no notes. >> yeah, no. >> jimmy: no notes for that song. her name is maggie rogers. >> yeah. >> jimmy: people saw this clip. it went viral. her song now, has been streamed over 20 million times on spotify. >> yeah. >> jimmy: because of you. >> no. [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: because of you. >> no way, it's not because of me. >> jimmy: no, it is. >> no, no, no. >> jimmy: i know you're going to give her credit, but then our music booker, julie, she heard the song, we booked her on our show, february 20th. [ cheers and applause ] maggie rogers is coming on to do a song called "alaska."
that's awesome, man. i just think it's great. >> man, you heard the music man. you really heard the music. >> jimmy: i love -- we love music here, man, and we love positivity. so thanks again. let's talk about this. 'cause this is -- what a -- what an interesting day to talk about this film. >> man, three african-american female protagonists, who are not best friends or consoling each other over divorces or anything. they are actually scientists, engineers, mathematicians who are technologically advanced. [ cheers and applause ] and this is the story -- i mean, and katherine johnson, her math was integral. it is actually, what helped john glenn make it into the orbit of space. >> jimmy: yeah. >> yeah. and unfortunately, we lost him today. like that's crazy. please give him a hand. man, he's was the first. [ applause ] >> jimmy: john glenn, unbelievable. >> it's crazy. but -- but this tells that story very, very, very well. >> jimmy: and thank you for doing this, and taraji, we love. i mean -- and she hits it out of the park in this one. >> 100%.
>> jimmy: she really does. but you also, you compose songs, you produced the songs, you sang. i mean, this is -- yeah. and produced this album. i mean, this is a lot for you. >> well, you know what, we were trying to serve this amazing story. >> jimmy: yeah. >> this is -- as i said before, three african-american women in the 1960s, facing nasa. two subjects i was subject -- i was obsessed with, since i was a child, and it happened where i'm from, hampton roads, virginia, in the 1960s. so how could i not do any and everything. me and my partner, mimi valdes, like we -- we did everything we could, to serve this story. man, i was, getting people coffee, whatever i needed to do. >> jimmy: yeah, whatever you got to do, to get it done. >> 100%. >> jimmy: and then it turned out great. >> thank you. >> jimmy: i want to show a clip from "hidden figures." it opens in select theaters december 25th and then nationwide on january 6th. take a look at this. >> what's the status on that computer? >> she's right behind you, mr. harrison.
>> can she handle analytic geometry? >> absolutely. and she speaks. >> yes, sir, i do. >> which one? >> both. geometry and speaking. >> ruth, get me the -- do you think you can find me the firnaframe for this data using the gram-shmidt -- >> orthonormalization algorithm? yes, sir. i prefer it, over euclidean coordinates. [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: she can act, man. you're going to perform tonight with kim burrell. what song are you doing tonight? >> "i see a victory." >> jimmy: "i see a victory," and yeah. [ cheers and applause ] when you even hear it, at the rehearsal -- i don't know if you saw rehearsal, but it was a a great this choir -- >> she's unbelievable. >> jimmy: and she is amazing. all right, so we have pharrell and burrell. [ light laughter ] yeah. pharrell williams and kim burrell perform after the break. stick around, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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>> jimmy: performing "i see a victory" off of "hidden figures: the album," give it up for pharrell williams and kim burrell, ladies and gentlemen! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ they'll call it a mystery but we're gonna call it victory ♪ ♪ we'll be writing history it's gonna be victory they'll be signs on top of signs ♪ ♪ just so you know the history it's saying victory ♪ >> everybody, stand up! ♪ is with me ♪ oh let them laugh about it don't worry what the doubters saying ♪ ♪ yes it's an uphill battle but guess who else is playing the next time ya'll in action ♪ ♪ and the ghost is in the room watch you work through the masses ♪ ♪ you know that we've been used ♪ ♪ let go let it be let go let it be ♪ ♪ no matter how deep no matter how deep
i swear just believe i swear just believe ♪ ♪ you'll find victory find your victory ♪ ♪ they'll call it a mystery but we're gonna call it victory ♪ ♪ we'll be writing history it's gonna be victory they'll be signs on top of signs ♪ ♪ just so you know the history it's saying victory is with me ♪ >> hey, come on! ♪ so i tallied all my losses and i turned them into lessons ♪ ♪ and what seemed to be less i turned them into blessings see i'm not trying to lose you ♪ ♪ but the spirit is relentless and when you let go let him use you ♪ ♪ then you can be a witness ♪ ♪ let go let it be let go let it be no matter how deep no matter how deep ♪
♪ i swear just believe i swear just believe you'll find your victory find your victory ♪ ♪ they'll call it a mystery but we're gonna call it victory ♪ ♪ we'll be writing history it's gonna be victory they'll be signs on top of signs ♪ ♪ just so you know the history it's saying victory is with me ♪ ♪ the bible says you should pray for nothing cause every week it's gonna be something ♪ ♪ you know the devil can't wait to jump in and complicate the things you trust in ♪ ♪ but i know my foundation is solid and can take some hating ♪ ♪ prayer's gonna be on this space station on the way to the master's apron ♪ ♪ they'll call it a mystery but we're gonna call it victory ♪ ♪ we'll be writing history it's gonna be victory
they'll be signs on top of signs ♪ ♪ just so you know the history it's saying victory is with me ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: come on! come on! oh, my gosh. that's the way to do it! kim burrell! [ cheers and applause ] kim burrell! pharrell williams! "hidden figures: the album" is available now! we'll be right back, everybody! oh, that's how you do it! [ cheers and applause ]
♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: my thank you to robert de niro, tom petty, pharrell williams, kim burrell! [ cheers and applause ] and the roots right there from philadelphia, pennsylvania, ladies and gentlemen. [ cheers and applause ] stay tuned for "late night with seth meyers." thank you for watching. have a great night. i hope to see you tomorrow. thank you so much.
bye! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- taraji p. henson, from "mozart in the jungle" actress, lola kirke, chief political anchor of fox news, bret baier, featuring the 8g band with abe cunningham. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] ladiesnd gentlemen, seth meyers. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: good evening, i'm seth meyers, this is "late night." how is everybody doing tonight? [ cheers and applause ] fantastic. fantastic to hear. in that case, let's get to the news. donald trump this weekend will give his first sunday morning
news interview since the election. and it's a big sacrifice for him because sunday morning is usually when he tweets about "saturday night live." [ light laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] he'll find the time. he'll still find the time. during trumps sunday morning news interview he is expected to discuss the agenda for his first 100 days in office. said trump, wait, i have to be president for a hundred days? [ laughter ] i'm running a business. trump adviser, kellyanne conway, told reporters today that donald trump is a huge elton john fan. that can be cured, said mike pence. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] i know you're an elton john fan now. but together we can beat this. [ laughter ] donald trump's team is reportedly desperate for an a-list celebrity to perform at his inauguration. with one official saying they
can quote, do better than kid rock. besides kid rock is going to be too busy with his new job as secretary of state. [ laughter and applause ] a new study found that women in the arts earn an average of $20,000 per year less than their male colleagues. which explains why this woman looks so mad at her husband. [ laughter ] you know, because she's in the arts. when you're in a painting, that mean you're in the arts, according to our writer who wrote that joke -- [ laughter and applause ] that makes this much sense. at its best -- at its best that joke makes this much sense. [ laughter ] scientists reportedly predicting that 5 billion years the sun will expand and destroy all life on earth. though most experts agree this orange ball of gas may do it sooner.
[ cheers and applause ] and finally, finally tonight, according to a new study, playing video games releases the same level of dopamine in the brain as an orgasm. the only difference is, i know how to give my wife a video game. [ laughter ] [ applause ] here you are, dear. "call of duty: special ops." you guys, we have a great show for you tonight. you know her as cookie from the smash hit "empire." she has a new film "hidden figures", taraji p. henson is back on the show. [ cheers and applause ] one of our favorites. also, she's in amazon's "mozart in the jungle," lola kirke is here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] the fantastic actress to talk about her wonderful show. plus we have chief political anchor of fox news and host of "special report," bret baier is here tonight. so looking forward to talking to him about everything going on in the world today. before we get to all of that, president-elect donald trump scored an early political win
when he claimed to have struck a deal to save more than a thousand jobs at a carrier plant in indiana. but the details of the deal that have since come out have undercut to some degree trump's victory lap. for more on this it's time for a closer look. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: donald trump was able to win rust belt states in the midwest in part by fashioning himself as a champion of the working man and impressive feat considering that the only tool he's ever used is a a spork from kfc. [ light laughter ] and in almost every campaign rally, he promised to keep american jobs in the u.s. offering one specific example, carrier, a company that makes air conditioners and other ventilation systems which was planning to move about 2,100 jobs from two facilitates in indiana to mexico. trump repeatedly pledged that he would punish companies like carrier for outsourcing jobs and would personally intervene to try and stop them. >> i'm not going to let other countries take our jobs, like carrier where they move their factory to mexico, they fire everybody.
we're not going to lose carrier air conditioning from indianapolis. we're not going to let carrier come in, make air conditioners in mexico, sell the air conditioners to us, across a very strong border now without consequence. there will be consequences. they will pay a 35% tax on every air conditioner that comes across the border. you're looking at a situation in our country where our jobs are being ripped out of our states. i'm not just talking here. they are being ripped out of our states. they're being ripped out of our country, like i say it -- like candy from a baby. >> seth: who rips candy from a baby? the whole point of taking candy from baby is that it's supposed to be easy. you don't need to rip it from them. [ light laughter ] trump is always so much more extreme than necessary. if i see baby with candy, what i do is i punch him out and then rip it from his unconscious hands then tie the baby's feet
together so that when the baby wakes up it is all the more harder for them to track you down. [ light laughter ] then you have the peace of mind of enjoying your candy. although, in fairness to trump, babies do have much bigger hands than he does. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] but apparently -- apparently trump didn't actually think he would have to live up to his promises. in an incredible moment of honesty, he admitted that the only reason he intervened to cut a deal with carrier was that he saw someone on tv who for whatever reason believed what trump had said during the campaign. >> i'll never forget, about a week ago ways watching the "nightly news." they were doing a story on carrier. they had a gentleman worker, great guy, handsome guy, he was on. and it was like he didn't even know they were leaving. he said, something to the effect, no, we're not leaving because donald trump promised us
that we're not leaving. and i never thought i made that promise. and then they played my statement. and i said, carrier will never leave. but that was a euphenism. >> seth: a euphenism. i'm not sure that's how you promounce that. [ laughter and applause ] also, what you said was not a euphemism. if you say, i got to second base, that's a euphemism. i'm not going to let an air conditioning company move to mexico is just a sentence. [ laughter and applause ] how did your date go last night? let's just say, i didn't let an air conditioning company move to mexico. [ light laughter ] does that mean it went well? so trump and vice president-elect mike pence, the governor of indiana, intervened to cut a deal with carrying pairing company, united
technologies, that they claim would keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the u.s. at a victory speech at carrier plant trump went so far as to claim that actually the number's over 1100 people and bragged on twitter quote they will sell many air conditioners. that's right. because of donald trump's heroic intervention, those indiana workers will now sell many air conditioners. there is just one problem, as the wall street journal reporter pointed out, it's a furnace factory. a furnace which of course is the [ bleep ] opposite of an air conditioner. [ laughter and applause ] nonetheless, nonetheless, if you went by some of the initial media coverage of the deal you might have thought trump saved all or even most of the jobs slated to move from indiana to mexico. but now, that the actual details of the deal started to trickle out, it seems there's less there than meets the eye. >> well the carrier the deal that donald trump negotiated last week might not be saving as many jobs as we all originally thought. a total of 800 jobs are staying. 700 factory jobs and then an
additional 70 salaried positions. now, the union says some of those saved jobs doubted by mr. trump, carrier ceo actually included hundreds of research and development jobs that were never slated to leave to begin with. >> so in all, 1250 factory jobs moving to mexico versus 730 being saved in indiana. >> seth: so there's still outsourcing 1250 jobs. sounds like a certain baby just got his candy ripped away. so, trump first claimed he would stop carrier from moving jobs to mexico then claimed he was saving over 1100 jobs then it turns out he was savng saving only 730, which the washington post reports is just 37% of the total who were due to leave the state. of course, trump is the master of making 37% seem like 100%. [ cheers and applause ] now it is very important to know that 730 jobs were saved and for those families that is a great relief that we can all be happy about. but when workers at the plant found out how many jobs were still going to mexico some felt
they had been lied to and the head of the union that represents carriers employees had even harsher words to describe trump's initial claims about the number of jobs he was saving. >> yesterday, chuck jones, the president of united steel workers local, that represents the carrier workers said that donald trump quote, lied his ass off about the number of jobs saved. >> seth: and trump does have a tendency to lie his ass off. that's why chris christie is always there to catch it. [ laughter ] and this is interesting, we found tape of other times trump lied his ass off and if you listen closely you can actually hear his ass hitting the ground. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. isis is honoring president obama. he is the founder of isis. he is the founder of isis. i am the least racist person you've ever met.
>> seth: solid gold ass. the man has a solid gold ass. nonetheless, despite his many flaws, there's no denying the deal was politically popular but for republicans what's so surprising about the new policy of strong arming companies into making business decisions is that gop has spent eight years calling obama a socialist for his economic policies. remember how they reacted to the auto bailout which saved as many as 1.5 million jobs. >> who better to take charge of an industry in trouble than your federal government. the administration is on a mission to hijack capitalism in favor of collectivism. >> now you're in the position where the government somehow has to coerce or force us all into buying the small cars than it insists detroit puts out. >> general motors is caving. general motors have bent over and grabbed ankles. chrysler bent over and grabbed the ankles. what are we suppose to do here? >> seth: bend over and grab the ankles? save that kind of talk for the access hollywood buzz. so they accused him of coercion
and hijacking capitalism. well, as you might have guessed, they see the carrier deal a little differently. >> he strong-armed him. what's wrong with that? >> a free market guy? he negotiated it. he is going at it. he won this one. he won a thousand jobs to stay in indiana. i have no objection to that whatsoever. >> next air conditioner i buy, i promise, because i'm glad we are making them here, is going to be a carrier. >> so what is your reaction when you heard carrier was going to keep a thousand jobs in the united states? after talking to trump, what was your reaction? i mean, standing up and cheering, right? you say, my gosh this is really happening. i mean, this is just flat out cool. >> seth: nothing says less cool than when rush limbaugh says flat out cool. [ laughter ] sounds like your step dad trying to show you the new barbecue grill. check it out son, a separate rack for poultry. it's flat out cool. this has been a closer look. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with taraji p. henson, everybody.
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long. yet another fantastic guest drummer, his band deftones has an incredible album "gore" that's out now. abe cunningham, everybody. give it up for abe. [ cheers and applause ] >> hello. >> seth: our first guest tonight is an academy award nominated actress, who you know as cookie lyon in the hit "empire." the mid season finale airs wednesday night on fox. she also stars as a nasa mathematician in the upcoming film "hidden figures." which opens in select cities christmas day, and nationwide january 6th. let's take a look. >> mr. johnson, if i were you, i would quit talking right now. >> i didn't mean no disrespect. >> i will have you know i was the first negro female student at a west virginia university graduate school. on any given day i analyze the manometer level for air displacement, friction and velocity. and compute over 10,000 calculations by hand. so yes, they let women do some things at nasa, mr. johnson. and it's not because we wear skirts.
it's because we wear glasses. >> seth: please welcome back to the show, our friend, taraji p. henson, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ >> seth: welcome back. >> always fun to see you. >> seth: always fun to you see you. congratulations on this film. this based on a true story -- >> yes. >> seth: of three women in the '60s who work for nasa. yes? >> yes. >> seth: and was it -- tell us a little bit about who you play. >> i play katherine johnson who is still very much alive. she's 98 years old. and it was her calculations that was able to get john glenn orbiting the earth. >> seth: and who tragically passed away today, john glenn. the great john glenn. >> rest in peace. yes he did. >> seth: rest in peace, john glenn. >> yes he did. >> seth: an incredible life. >> yes. [ applause ] >> seth: i should say there was nothing tragic to his passing. >> an amazing man. not at all. >> seth: the man had a life fuller than any of us should be lucky enough to live. >> yes. >> seth: you actually, were an
electrical engineer major in college for a brief period of time. >> yeah. [ light laughter ] it was an accident. >> seth: it was an accident? >> it was a fluke. >> seth: how does that happen? >> so what happened was, i didn't get accepted to my high school of choice and there was a high school for performing arts. >> seth: okay, gotcha. >> so i thought that meant i couldn't act. >> seth: okay. >> why i chose electrical engineering, i don't know. [ light laughter ] but i did. and you know, i failed. [ light laughter ] all of the math. >> seth: yeah, all the math. the math is key. >> pre-calculus. pre-cal. that prepares you for all the math you were going to take. and i couldn't pass that. >> seth: yeah. i would say very few mathematicians careers start because they got kicked out of acting school. [ light laughter ] like i was going to be an actor. but i wanna say i'm impressed because you, as with movies with math, you do a lot of chalkboard equations in this film. >> yes. >> seth: and i was assuming they just used a hand model for that, because it is some pretty intense stuff. you learned it. >> yeah. i was assuming that, too. [ laughter ]
and i got to set and ted was like, we're gonna use your hand. and i was like, my hand? can i just like be -- how are you going to do this? you got to learn it. i literally passed out. i think i peed my pants. i can't remember. [ light laughter ] but math makes me that nervous. and you know what, it is so unfortunate. i think it's because when i was told -- when i was a little girl, i was told, oh, don't worry about math and science, it's for boys. >> seth: yeah. >> and i think that's why this movie is so important. because if i knew that dream belonged to me, i may have been a rocket scientist. but i think acting was -- >> seth: it worked out. we're very lucky to have you on the acting side. that's what makes it even more incredible. >> yes. >> seth: to think that katherine johnson, in her era, was this incredible mathematician. you mentioned she is still very much alive. you actually got to meet her, yeah? >> i did. >> seth: how was that? >> it was -- it was -- i don't get star struck often. you know, i am an actress and i have gotten star struck. don't get me wrong. but have you to be a great icon.
>> seth: i felt it a little bit when we first met. >> yeah. >> seth: was there a little? [ light laughter ] >> there was. i was nervous. >> seth: okay, just a little -- >> i cried. >> seth: i saw your eyes get a little struck. >> i was like, oh, my god. i am never washing these hands again. [ light laughter ] no. but it's something when you meet someone who is so important in history. like, she changed the face of america's history. >> seth: yeah. >> like she didn't -- she was the only mind to figure out those numbers. there wasn't a group of people. ibm was just implemented into the nasa program. glenn didn't even trust the ibm machine's computations. he wanted katherine to check those numbers before he even got in the capsule. so you talk about a living hero. there was a different feeling when you meet someone whose consciousness is above everyone else. >> seth: yeah. >> not in a diva way, or i know more than you. just because consciously, she's smarter than us all. >> seth: yeah. [ light laughter ] yeah. >> you can't compare that to
anything. and she didn't see herself as a hero. she just was like, i just love doing my job. >> seth: i think it speaks to how good you are at your job, that you can play someone who's completely selfless like that and you can also play cookie lyon, who's the opposite. [ applause ] i think cookie, cookie uses "i." >> yeah. cookie is i, i, i. no, cookie's family first. >> seth: that's true, family first. is it true that because you have to, you know, obviously do a whole season of "empire", you transition to doing a film like this, is it true, a little cookie snuck in sometimes on set? >> yeah, because i didn't have really any time to digress. >> seth: right. >> and i literally wrapped on "empire" and i had like two or three weeks before i transitioned into playing this character who is polar opposite of cookie. >> seth: yeah. >> so, in that clip he showed you, you know, women in the '60s is different. you had to stay in your place. >> seth: yeah. >> you know, and you couldn't, especially a black woman. you couldn't get all sassy. might be strange fruit hanging from the tree.
i mean, we laugh but it's real. so, you know, all of this had to go away. and so in -- 'cause she's reading him, but she's reading him 1960 style. >> seth: right. >> and so i kept doing this and ted was like, "no, any subtle movement makes her a modern woman." you can't do that. and i kept feeling cookie's -- [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: down, cookie, down! >> down, cookie! >> seth: well, you are -- you're a fantastic actress. you're one of my favorites. >> thank you. >> seth: we're actually going to stick around and do our acting challenge. which i'm very excited about. >> yes. >> seth: we'll be right back with more from taraji p. henson. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ inside the rack houses of jim beam, thousands of barrels lay silent. aging, building a fuller smoother flavor that only comes from being aged four long years. at jim beam, our history is made from the inside.
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to the show. meryl streep, daniel day-lewis, diane keaton, all great actors. but, how can you tell which one of them is the best? we here at "late night" have produced the actathalon, a multi-stage, theatrical obstacle course designed to measure and test an actor's commitment to the craft of acting. competing tonight, will be hollywood thespian taraji p. henson, everybody. [ cheers and applause ]
here we go. now we all know taraji is an excellent actress but tonight we find out just how excellent. taraji, what have you done to prepare for this challenge? >> i watched kevin spacey's episode of "inside the actor's studio." >> seth: all of it? >> no, just the first part. >> seth: okay. let's show the folks at home the feats of acting expertise you will have to display this evening. first taraji, you'll come up against "the devil's desk." here you'll have to angrily say a line of dialogue into a phone and then swipe the contents off the desk. >> that's great. >> seth: next is "the mirror of introspection" where your character will have to stare and her reflection and wonder who the hell she's become. >> i do that every morning. >> seth: if successful, you move on to "the slide of tears." where you will take a phone call, hear some devastating news, and slide down the wall, crying. [ light laughter ] then it's off to "the control room of carnage." where you'll enter the military command center and direct a special ops mission to take out a target. >> oh, god. >> seth: then you move on to "the toss." where you'll throw a memento from your deceased lover into the ocean to signify you are ready to move on with your life. >> oh god. >> seth: you'll then come to the "fellini crusher" where you'll show your range while performing a scene in the distinct dramatic style of the italian auteur. next, you'll walk the red
carpet, explain what you're wearing in "the red carpet rundown." and finally, you'll go to the top of "acting mountain" where you will try not to let go of your scene partner as he dangles from a cliff. [ light laughter ] taraji, are you ready? >> yes! wait, i just have to get into character. you can't handle the truth! [ cheers and applause ] okay, i'm ready. >> seth: in that case. go! here we go. taraji quickly to "the devil's desk." >> hello? what do you mean your airbnb doesn't allow cats? ah! [ cheers ] >> seth: fantastic. and it's on to "the mirror of introspection." >> ding-ding? [ ding ] yes! look at you. you call yourself an office max sales associate? you don't even know where the hp 5-something-4 inkjet printer cartridges are. [ light laughter ] you're pathetic!
you're pathetic! [ ding ] >> seth: yeah. you got the ding. moving on. [ cheers ] to "the slide of tears." >> i don't understand. what do you mean white castle doesn't deliver? [ cheers and applause ] [ ding ] >> seth: moving on, taraji. get into "the mission control room." >> i have to get serious. okay. do we have eyes on the target? >> the target is currently delivering its best man speech. >> status update? >> he's drunk and rambling. everyone feels uncomfortable. >> do we have a clean shot? >> negative. the groom is trying to get him to sit down and shut the hell up. >> dear god, the target is talking about the groom's ex. >> we have to take the shot. >> he's getting into weird sex stuff. >> take the shot! [ gunshot ] >> target has been eliminated. >> sayonara you son of a bitch! [ cheers and applause ] [ ding ] >> seth: up the stairs to the top, taraji. [ cheers and applause ]
>> hair blowing. when you died, david, you left me half a meat ball sub in the fridge. but i can't finish it. good-bye. oh, boy, those birds are really going to town on that sub. hey, you fat bird, give the skinny bird a chance! [ ding ] >> seth: great job, taraji. moving on to "agent of chaos." [ cheers and applause ] >> all right. ♪ [ speaking italian ] >> i don't speak italian. [ laughter ] [ speaking italian ] >> i told you, man, i don't speak italian. [ speaking italian ]
>> oh, shut the [ bleep ] up. [ laughter ] [ ding ] [ cheers and applause ] [ cheers and applause ] >> taraji! tarji, over here. who are you wearing? >> this is designed by glad. >> beautiful. [ light laughter ] beautiful. >> yeah. it's a force flex, odor shield trash bag. it's a four gallon model. [ light laughter ] >> how are you feeling tonight? how are you feeling? >> well, i'm really hot and i might pass out soon. [ ding ] >> yes! [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: go to the top of acting mountain, taraji. >> i'm coming! i'm gonna save you! [ cheers and applause ]
i won't let you down. >> seth: taraji! don't let go! >> seth! you're too heavy. have you gained weight? >> seth: yeah, i guess i packed on about 25 pounds of muscle since my baby was born. >> wait, are you sure that's muscle? >> seth: can you believe someone threw away this meatball sandwich? [ laughter and applause ] it's really good. >> oh, seth, give me your other hand. >> seth: i can't decide, between life or sandwich. i choose sandwich! >> nooooooo! [ ding ] [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: that was excellent. let's go to our judges table for your final score. [ cheers and applause ] our judges, as everyone knows, are three professional johnny depp impersonators.
judges? that's a perfect score! [ cheers and applause ] taraji p.6henson, you are the world's most perfect actor. >> oh, perfect. perfect! >> seth: now, go to the podium and give your acceptance speech. >> wow. where do i start? so many people -- ♪ >> seth: well, that music means we're out of time. >> no, wait a minute. honey, i waited 20 minutes for this! >> seth: taraji p. henson, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] "hidden figures" opens in select theaters christmas day, and nationwide january 6th. we'll be right back with lola kirke. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ this man can lift
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