Her new movie is called “What Men Want,” but Taraji P. Henson says she has a pretty good idea of what women are looking for from their elected leaders: respect.

“They want to be heard,” Henson said Thursday at the Washington premiere of the film at the Regal Gallery Place theater.

“They just want respect,” Henson said. “They want their words and opinions to be valid. And to be taken with respect like we do when men speak and try to push their agendas.”


In the new comedy — which also stars Tracy Morgan and opens nationwide Friday — Henson plays a sports agent in a male-dominated industry, who suddenly is able to hear men’s thoughts. It's a female-driven, spin on the 2000 Mel Gibson-starring "What Women Want" for the "Me Too" era.

In real life, Henson was one of the few Hollywood performers who predicted back in 2016 that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE had a real shot at winning his White House race against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one' MORE.

“I’m not really political, but it’s serious out here,” Henson said at the BET Awards just four months before the 2016 presidential election.

“For those who think he’s not going to win — think again,” said Henson, who appeared in a Clinton campaign ad a month before the election. 

Henson told ITK on Thursday that Trump could “absolutely” win again in 2020.

“If people don’t realize, there’s still a lot of people out there that believe in whatever he’s doing. And we can’t be lazy. We just cannot be lazy,” said the “Empire” star, who grew up in the D.C. area.

“We can’t be like, ‘Oh it’s going to turn.’ No. We need each and every person to make some noise,” she added. “It’s never too late, but we gotta do something about it. We can’t sit complacent watching this ship sink.”

But Henson, 48, said it’s “too early” to get behind any of the potential 2020 Democratic candidates just yet.

While she posted images of Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate MORE (D-N.J.) for her more than 13 million Instagram followers when both lawmakers announced their White House bids, Henson said those messages of support were in honor of Black History Month and “all of the work Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] did.”

“But it wasn’t to say, ‘Hey, I’m voting for them,” Henson said. “It’s just to say, look how far we’ve come.”