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Taraji P. Henson is everyone’s favorite cover girl these days. The 44-year-old Empire star has been showing up everywhere ahead of the September 23rd return of her popular TV show. Henson, who was hospitalized a few days ago (but told her social media fans she was OK) has been criss-crossing the globe to promote the show. And she’s been doing a few hot magazine shoots along the way.

The latest is for high-end fashion magazine W. In the magazine, Henson reveals why she almost did take the role of Cookie Lyon, the tough-talking ex of Empire Records head Lucious Lyon.

“I was like, This is stupid,” Henson told W. “Hip-hop—dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. But then I started to think, Cookie is going to piss so many people off! She hits her son with a broom; she talks back. Clearly, this was a challenge.”

As the world now knows, Henson eventually accepted the role but only after casting Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon. She told show creator Lee Daniels that only  if her former Hustle and Flow co-star would do Empire as her co-lead, would she would do the show. As it turned out, maybe Henson also could have a side hustle as a casting director as the two are great together in Empire. 

As for Cookie becoming an iconic character so quickly in just the first season of Empire:

“They see her heart. They see her intentions. And they love her style—her style is 17 years behind the fashion curve, which makes the clothes a character on the show. As Cookie grows, you’ll see her fashion grow. And people love that—she’s a work in progress. The only thing that never changes is her spirit: To me, Cookie is living, breathing, walking truth.”

You can read the entire W Magazine story HERE.

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