The Hidden Figures actress quietly started to garner industry attention after starring in 2001 movie Baby Boy, but it wasn’t until her casting in smash hit TV show Empire that Taraji became a household name across the globe.

Her A-list status was cemented when former U.S. President Barack Obama invited her along to a final goodbye he was throwing, after she was forced to miss a previous engagement at the White House.

“I was feeling my feelings, thinking I wasn’t going to get to say goodbye to them before they left the White House,” she told W magazine. “(The I got the second invite) Didn’t I just ask for that? You see how powerful I am?

“It is quite groundbreaking, isn’t it? It’s supposed to be over for me at 46, but here I am. I’m a late bloomer, and I’m okay with that. Know why? Late bloomers last looong.”

Taraji is joined on the cover of W by Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Chastain, Kate Moss and Donatella Versace as the publication celebrates powerful women.

Taraji carved out her own path to the top; at 26 she relocated to Los Angeles with $700 (£557) to her name and her young son, Marcell, in tow.

Escaping the Washington D.C. “hood” she came from, Golden Globe winning Taraji only ever envisioned a successful life.

“Is it getting better for women, black women? I don’t know. It’s been great for me!” she stated honestly. “I own six properties, I’m out of the hood, and my son don’t know the hood.”

“Now, have they put all the zeroes on my cheque that I deserve? That’s the question, but not even for me because I don’t write the cheques. I just keep working hard, knowing it will come.”