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Taraji P. Henson’s ‘Abbott Elementary’ role started with a call

ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Taraji P. Henson is set to make her Abbott Elementary debut this month. Speaking to Extra, she says, “I play Vernita, who is Janine’s mom, and she’s a mess.”

As an entertainment industry veteran, she nabbed the role thanks to her star-studded network. She explains, “I guess I’m in this place in my career where I have friends now, and I’ll tell my friends, ‘Hey, call me if you ever need me.’ But that’s what happened.”

She chose to accept the role as both a supporter and fan of the show.

“I love supporting, you know, and again, I’m such a fan, like, why wouldn’t I? That’s such a talented, amazingly talented cast. The writing is impeccable,” Taraji continues.

She also has a personal connection to the show: “I used to be a substitute teacher, so I have a really … deep love and respect for teachers and educators.”

Speaking of her experience filming, Taraji says she had “a great time” on set.

“I hope they call me back,” she adds.

Abbott Elementary‘s “Mom” episode featuring Taraji airs April 12 at 9 p.m. ET.

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