Picks and Pans Review: Taraji P. Henson Is ... Living Her Dream

updated 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

>• Playing Brad Pitt's adoptive mom in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button nabbed the actress, 38, an Oscar nomination—and she's relishing the breakthrough role.

ON MAKING IT IN HOLLYWOOD I had my son [Marcel, 14] my senior year of college, then moved to L.A. Sometimes it was scary, but I had to prove to him that dreams can come true.

ON BEING A SINGLE MOM I'm his best friend, but I'm his mother first. As a single mother I have to play both male and female energies. It's tough. I have two faces. I'm not strict, but he doesn't get away with stuff!

ON FINDING LOVE LIKE PITT AND ANGELINA JOLIE [They're] madly in love, and that's what I want. They glow.

ON HER OSCAR NOM I'm living life like Cinderella. Who knows when it'll come again, so I'm having fun!

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