In every successful career, there has to be a moment or two that show and prove just how talented you are. We’ve always been fans of our home town gal Taraji P. Henson but her portrayal of “Cookie” on Fox’s Empire has shown EVERYONE just how talented the Academy-Award nominee truly is. During a recent interview with Power 105’s Angie Martinez, the actress dished on how her new found popularity has impacted her life, how she keeps her sexy co-stars at bay, how the infamous “booty scene” came to be and more. Check out a few excerpts below.
On “Cookie” taking over her life and her new found popularity
“Cookie has stolen my life. It’s crazy cause I’ve been here. It goes to show all my hard work has paid off. I’m no longer Taraji no more, I’m Cookie. It’s overwhelming, going to the store is not going to the store anymore. It’s weird. I’ve always done my own grocery shopping. So, I’ve had to hire an assistant because it’s just been non-stop since the show.”
On the public pitting her and Kerry Washington against each other
“When I went in to read for Shonda Rhimes, in my mind I was like ‘This is Kerry Washington. Why am I even in here?’ Not that I didn’t try to get it, but it was hers. It was her job. She’s great in it.” Then I do Empire and they make these horrible memes. I saw her at the NAACP Image Wards and we had a good laugh about it.”
On there being enough room for more than one black “it” girl
“For a long time we only knew Halle Berry. It’s always just one ‘it’ girl. I don’t understand that theory when I know for sure that there’s enough work for all of us, which we’re seeing now. Why should little brown girls have to pick one? Why can’t they see women who represent all of how we look? And I think that’s what we’re seeing now. I don’t want to share the spotlight alone.”
On hand picking Derek Luke for the role of Malcolm
“I did! They gave me a list and I said that one. You gotta know how to act too. Derek Luke is a good actor and he’s easy on the eyes. But not only that, I just thought it would great. You know in the community we have this thing with light skin/dark skin and I was like we gon’ have to have to mix this up a bit because if not, the people are going to get us. So I made a point. I said whoever the love interest is, he has to be chocolate or not so light.”
On Cookie’s infamous butt scene
“You know that wasn’t scripted. But the Cookie in me had to get her back. Remember that one episode she went upstairs and made sure she changed and came down in her lingerie? I had to show her what a butt looks like. Literally, when I did it the entire cast and crew was like gasp. And I said ‘You better keep it!’
For me, it’s not about Taraji and Taraji’s vanity. For me it was about Cookie and Cookie getting back at Anika. I didn’t even think about how my butt would look on television. I didn’t care. I wasn’t thinking as Taraji. It’s just something that happened in the moment and it worked. And thank God it looked good.
On how she keeps Terrence Howard at Bay during sex scenes
“You have to keep them (the boys) professional. They can’t help if they get aroused. Every time we were laying there, he kept talking to his male member, “No don’t do that. Taraji’s going to punch me.’ So I said, ‘You know I will sock you right in the throat.’ And then he goes ‘Ok, I’m going to keep my pants on.’ So I said ‘Let me help you.’ (starts imitating a child’s voice) ‘Daddy, why are you on top of me? Where is mommy? Why is the door closed?’
He would be like ‘Oh, no!’ But it kept him honest. It worked! I did the baby voice like ‘Daddy why are you on top of me I’m scared. Why are you touching me daddy?’ And he was like ‘Oh, that’s twisted!’ But guess what? We got through the scene real quick.
On a the possibility of a Baby Boy sequel
“I haven’t heard anything. Do we really need a Baby Boy 2? Tyrese and I can do anything and they’ll be ready to see us.”
On her lack of love life
“I would love to be in a relationship. That’s the only thing missing right now. They coming on Twitter but those guys ain’t got nothing to lose. My friends tell me I’m intimidating but how am I intimidating? I’m the goofiest, funnest girl you’ll meet, what so intimidating about that?Guys tell me that too. Why? Because I’m confident and comfortable in who I am? I don’t go around emasculating men. Maybe some of the characters I have portrayed have but that doesn’t mean that’s me. I’m not high maintenance.”
I know one thing, I can’t see anyone as Olivia Pope but Kerry Washington, nor can I see anyone playing Cookie but Taraji so alls well that ends well lol. Season 2 of Empire can’t get here soon enough! Watch the full interview below.