Actress TARAJI P. HENSON struggled through her performance of Oscar-winning song IT'S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP at the 2005 Academy Awards - because she couldn't look at stars like Tom Hanks and DAME Helen Mirren as she sang about the seedier side of life.
Henson admits she was thrilled to be asked to perform the song from Hustle & Flow on the Oscars stage - but when she stepped out there on the big night, she was hit by panic.
She recalls, "I was great at first and then you get on the stage and you realise what you are singing about and then there's Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and I'm pretty much singing about b**ches and hos and pimps, so what I did was I looked above everyone's head... to a spot on the back wall because I was so embarrassed.
"Later, I see Tom Hanks backstage and I'm like, 'I'm so sorry I had to sing that song but you know what it kinda went with the movie and he was like 'Oh, that's OK' and he grabs his publicist and says, 'I call her a b**ch all the time.' He made me feel so much better."