In No Good Deed, actress Taraji P. Henson plays Terri a devoted wife and mother of two children, but Terri’s marriage has gone south. Her husband and her don’t have the same “spark” in their relationship they had in the beginning. One night she opens the door of her house to help a stranger in need. Then as the old saying goes, “NO GOOD DEED,” goes unpunished.
Nuke the Fridge’s own Louis Love had an opportunity to catch up with Taraji P. Henson during a Q&A style roundtable interview where she answered some great questions about the film.
Below are some highlights from the interview.
Taraji P. Henson: No! ( laughs ) And I say that because of the way my house is situated if I’m all the way upstairs. I’m not coming downstairs. I don’t care how fine you are. I don’t like unexpected guests anyway. So I’m like why are you ringing my door bell when you see all the other houses on the block? Why mine? So no, I wouldn’t.
Q: How did you get in the mindset where you had to be afraid of this good looking guy (Idris Elba)?
Taraji P. Henson: He’s not that fine to me (laughs). And that accent is stupid. I can’t understand anything. No, I’m kidding (laughs.) I think where Terri is in her life when you meet her, I think she’s on her lowest point. She was a powerhouse go get it D.A. and an attorney in New York. Then she fell in love, got married, had children then kinda lost herself. That’s what happens sometimes, it’s all about the man. So I feel like there is a lot going on for her. If she was happy at home, she would have probably not have opened the door. But then she does (open the door) because she’s expecting her friend to visit. It’s not like she’s dumb. She is actually expecting someone to come over. Then she sees that he’s bleeding so she helps him.
Q: What was the biggest challenge for you making the film?
Taraji P. Henson: The biggest challenge for me was the fight scene. It took three nights to film it with a lot of work with the fight choreographers. I had bruises, he hit me with the gun one time too. It takes a lot of energy and by the end of the night I was wiped out.
I would love to do another thriller, but next time I wanna play the psychotic one!
Q: You’re one of the producers of the film. How was that adventure?
Taraji P. Henson: Wow! (laughs) I threatened Idris’ life. That was the performance getting him to do the movie. I meet Will Packer with the script about seven years ago, when Terrence Howard and I hosted The Soul Train Awards and Will was just starting and he was still up and coming. He said I have this script that has been sitting at the studio. It was written for a white lead and I think you will be great as the female. We will find a white guy to play opposite you. That did not work out. Then “Think like a Man” came along, but before that Idris was already involved with “No Good Deed.” We thought let’s just make it (“No Good Deed”) with two Black leads.
It took hard work. I even played the “Single Mamma” card to bring him on. I told Idris that my son needs to go to college and I needed the money. So, I was like “please Idris!”
Q: Although you kick ass in the film, do you think you played the stereotypical housewife?
Taraji P. Henson: I don’t think so… not at all, because never once is she in a victim’s position. As soon as she feels that something is off about this guy she goes into survival mode. It’s either me or him and she has her kids too. It’s NOT going to be me. You know women are known to lift cars to save their babies. I believe in that kind of power. When you have shared your body with another human for nine months there’s nothing you wouldn’t do. I have nightmares about something happening to my son. Whoever would hurt him would die. It’s just this rage that comes out of you that is uncontrollable. You know what I mean?
Q: Do you question helping strangers in your personal life?
Taraji P. Henson: I think the world we live in makes us all question that. Because you just don’t know because people are strange. Now with social media you don’t know if people are watching you. I’m a very helpful person. Helping people is in me.
Terri (Taraji P. Henson) is a devoted wife and mother of two, living an ideal suburban life in Atlanta when Colin (Idris Elba,) a charming but dangerous escaped convict, shows up at her door claiming to have car trouble. Terri offers her phone to help him, but soon learns that no good deed goes unpunished as she finds herself fighting for survival when he invades her home and terrorizes her family.