Exclusive Interview: Taraji P. Henson and The Cast of ‘Empire’ Spill Season 1 Tea & Talk Black Women In Hollywood!
Empire is the new hit show on FOX that drew in over 11 million viewers on the night of it’s debut! Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) brought his talents to television, along with superstar music producer, Timbaland. The show based on the story of Empire Records owner Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), his sons and his outspoken ex-wife Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyons), is about a family being torn apart by fame, fortune and deceit. The music adds drama and Taraji’s vibrant personality and outrageous sayings make the show an undeniable hit!
I had to the pleasure of being at the premiere at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood and I caught up with the cast to get the tea on season 1! Check out a few highlights below:
Taraji P. Henson:
How do you relate to Cookie Lyon?
“All of the characters I portray, I feel like, there’s a little bit of me, you know? I can only pull from my life experiences. So, exposing some of Cookies pain might be exposing some of mine.”
How do you feel about so many Black Women becoming leading actresses on television?
“I feel great! I mean, I love to see my sisters working. That gives me motivation! I’m not like that, I big up anybody that gets a job. Because I know that it doesn’t mean anything about my journey. So, I’m happy to see it, I want to see more. So, I remember seeing Kerry on a plane, we were going to the second inauguration, and she said, ‘Isn’t it amazing that you and I get to do what we do and we get to do it on TV?” And I said, ‘I love it, but I wish more of us were.’ She said, ‘I know we just got to keep doing what we’re doing,’ and look what’s happening! “
Will You be doing any singing this season?
“Probably next season. Timbaland already started talking to Lee, ‘We need to do some music with Taraji!’
What do you feel about the perceptions about being down with the swirl?
Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday:
“This is just so normal in here. Everything that even seems negative is from perspective. Other people looking in. This is a great love, you know? This is Stella and Stanley!
That’s what we say, when everyone says, how do you relate to your evil, blah, blah, blah? I’m like No! She’s just in love with her husband. She’s just willing to do anything for her husband to get ahead. And if that’s perceived as evil from the outside world, then that’s them!”
Watch EMPIRE every Wednesday night at 9pm on FOX!
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