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Empire Star Taraji P. Henson Looks Back at the Unforgettable Cookie Lyon

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Video Credit: Empire

Primetime soaps have given viewers legendary characters like J.R. Ewing (Dallas), Abby Cunningham (Knots Landing), Angela Channing (Falcon Crest), Alexis Colby (Dynasty), and more recently, Victoria Grayson (Revenge). Fans of the show Empire have already added Cookie Lyon to that list!

Taraji P. Henson Looks Back At Cookie

Played by Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson, Cookie hit the ground running in the premiere episode of Empire. The character was released from prison and was determined to reclaim her life, both personally and professionally. Now, Fox has put together a promotional video (that can be seen above) shining a light on this memorable character.

“My life has changed,” says Henson, referring to taking on the dynamic Cookie. “I got a call from my manager and him saying, ‘Oh, my God! I have this script — you’ve got to read it, you’ve got to read it!’ I remember being [initially] very afraid of Cookie. What are people going to think? Once I started having those [kind of] questions, [I concluded] that’s the project you should do.”

“Taraji P. Henson is God’s gift to acting,” raves Terrence Howard, who plays series star and Cookie’s leading man, Lucious. “She’s amazing.” He would know — these two actors go way back and have huge respect for each other, which makes playing Cookie and Lucious on Empire all the more rewarding.

Cookie Is Unforgettable

Why did the character catch on? “Women definitely identify with Cookie,” Henson notes. “She risked her life for the family [by going to jail] not only her sons but her husband. And they all turned their backs on her. At the end of the day, she still loves her babies and she loves this man — even though he’s a butt-hole.”

“You’ll all remember me,” Henson, as Cookie, said in an episode. “I’m Cookie Lyon, baby. I’m unforgettable.” Indeed! Empire airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

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