Taraji P. Henson is hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time next week and she's doing her best to keep her nerves in check.
"I have to treat it like another job or I will get up there and choke," the Empire star told me last night at the Samsung Galaxy S 6 edge launch party at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood. "I know it's incredible. I'm so honored and amazed to even be on it. I know legends do Saturday Night Live. I get all of it, but in my mind, to keep my cool, I have to look at it like's it's just another job."
The Oscar nominee did say she's relying on some of her acting schooling to help her out for her opening monologue. "I trained in theater, so that really doesn't scare me," she insisted.
Henson doesn't know what SNL's creative team has in store for her but she imagines they'll be an Empire and/or Cookie skit of some kind.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Samsung
"I've been doing my research," she said. "I saw Chris Rock when he hosted and they made him do a lot of his old characters. And what's that fine hunk of man that plays Thor with all the muscles?"
"Chris Hemsworth," I said.
"I saw his episode that he hosted and they made him do a lot of his things like Thor," Henson said. "So I'm sure it's going to be a lot of characters that I've portrayed. I wouldn't be surprised if they throw Queenie in there from Benjamin Button…Who knows? I'm ready for it."
Henson hosts the late-night comedy show on April 11 with musical guest Mumford & Sons.
If one of her skits falls flat, I suggested she save the day by just blurting out, "Boo Boo kitty."
That's a sure fire way to get some laughs.
Henson laughed, "Boo Boo Kitty—that'll be my saving grace!"
For more from last night's Samsung party, watch E! News tonight at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.