During the course of the film, Taraji's character, Queenie, ages dramatically. To make the transformation more believable, Taraji says she studied the women in her family. "My grandmother, my one surviving grandparent, is 84 years old," she says. "She had a get-together at her house. ... I just went to the get-together and sat back and studied all of the women because there was a woman there to represent every age I had to portray. They were character studies and didn't even know it."
When Taraji first read the script for this film, she says she didn't think she had a shot. "Oftentimes, when you have a huge studio film and you have big names attached, they like to keep attaching big names. At the time, I wasn't a huge name," she says. "I was planning a huge garage sale. I really didn't take it serious. I took the audition seriously, of course, but I was just hoping to make an impression on Lorraine Mayfield, the casting director."
After learning she got the role, Taraji says she postponed the garage sale!