Cookie Lyon of “Empire” is one of the most forward characters on TV. She says whatever is on her mind and doesn't care who she offends.
Actress Taraji P. Henson revealed to Harper's Bazaar she modeled the character off of her late father. “He had no buffer. He spoke the truth.” Henson dished. "It's heroic because in this society we have been trained to be politically correct. Political correctness is b-------. If I ask you a question right now, the first thing that comes in your mind is the truth. But we've all been trained to breathe, digest the question, and manipulate the answer. Cookie doesn't do that.”
The 44-year-old said she has a lot of Cookie tendencies, but she can't act on them because she'll go to jail. She also refers to the character as her “Sasha Fierce,” who always wears some sort of flashy outfit.
“The streets aren't made for everybody, that's why they made sidewalks,” Henson says as Cookie, Lucious Lyon's (Terrence Howard) ex-wife on “Empire.” Cookie has become a very popular character among fans and has even earned Henson a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also won a Critic's Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.
Cookie is expected to continue to clash with ex-husband Lucious on the upcoming season of “Empire” as she still searches to take the label, which she feels is hers. The drama will certainly heat up amongst her three sons Andre (Trai Byers), Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) as they continue to fight to rise to the top with their father behind bars.
Henson is also to expected to star in the upcoming biopic of legendary stand-up comedian Richard Pryor, which is being directed by “Empire” creator Lee Daniels. Henson will play Pryor's mother Gertrude, while Mike Epps will star as the comedian.
“Empire” Season 2 premieres Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.