Empire’s Taraji P. Henson: Would Cookie Ever Be Killed Off?


Terrence Howard Jussie Smollett Bryshere Gray Trai Byers Taraji P. Henson Empire
Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers and Taraji P. Henson on Season Four of ‘Empire.’ FOX via Getty Images

Cookie Lyon isn’t going anywhere — for now. Taraji P. Henson teased how long she’d play the vivacious and outspoken character on Empire during an exclusive interview with Us Weekly.

When asked if she’d stay on for several more seasons, Henson replied: “I definitely want my money! If it’s still good after we syndicate absolutely. I love work and I love Cookie.”

She added: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

The Hidden Figures actress, 47, has starred on the Fox drama since its debut in 2015. The Lyon clan has their fair share of enemies, but Henson doesn’t think that Cookie will ever be killed off.

Taraji P. Henson Golden Globe Awards
Taraji P. Henson, winner of the award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama for ‘Empire,’ poses in the press room during the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. George Pimentel/WireImage.com

“I don’t think that would happen,” she says. “I don’t think Cookie is going anywhere anytime soon.”

As for where she hopes Cookie would be by the series finale? “I just want Cookie to be happy,” the Proud Mary star tells Us. “And I think she’s most happy when her boys are doing good. I honestly think at the core of Cookie she just wants her family back. I really believe that.”

For more, read the rest of the Q&A below:

US: What’s one of the hardest scenes you’ve had to film?

TH: The toughest scenes to film I guess would be the emotional stuff with her sons. Whenever one of her son’s is in danger. Anything when mama cub has to protect her babies. Those are tough for me because I am a mom and I have a son.

US: What’s been one of your favorite Cookie moments?

TH: I liked when I was going toe to toe against Diana DuBois played by Phylicia Rashad. I called her a “fake ass Claire Huxtable.”

US: What memorabilia would you take home if the show wrapped?

TH: I keep a lot of the higher end pieces. There was a cat suit that I kept that the audience never even saw the whole outfit, just from the waist up. And it’s black. I keep most of the pieces that are trendy. Anything Chanel. They have a mean collection of Chanel. I collect shoes. Anytime they get a Chanel piece — they may not keep it for Cookie — but they will show it to me first before sending it back because nine times out of 10 I’m going to buy it.

Empire airs Wednesdays on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.

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