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Tom Hanks eased Taraji P. Henson's nerves after Oscars performance

Tom Hanks eased actress Taraji P. Henson's nerves after she was left "embarrassed" following her performance of Hustle & Flow song It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp during the Academy Awards.

The Empire star, along with co-star Terrence Howard and rappers Three 6 Mafia and Cedric Coleman, took to the stage during the Oscars prizegiving in 2006 to perform the hit track, which won Best Original Song at the ceremony.


But Henson admits she felt extremely uncomfortable singing it at the annual event, particularly because of its subject matter.


In an interview on chat show The Talk, Henson explained, "It was quite embarrassing, because there are people there that I really admire like Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and I'm up on stage singing about pimps and whores at the most conservative show on television. But they were out there rocking! As I was singing the song, I just looked above everyone's head."


Following the performance, Henson ran into nice guy Hanks, who helped the actress relax after the nerve-wracking experience.


She said, "When I went backstage, I saw Tom Hanks. I said, 'I'm so sorry! I'm just singing about Bs (b**ches) and hoes and pimps and he pulled his publicist over and said, 'Oh that's okay! I call her a B everyday!


"But that's just a testament of how sweet he is. He just made me feel so much better about it. I was like, 'Okay, if you say so!'"