Despite the cult-like adoration for her role as Cookie Lyon on “Empire,” Taraji P. Henson wants one thing to be known – Cookie is “not a caricature.”
In ELLE's annual Women In TV issue, the Golden Globe award-winner shared which traits were important to avoid in her portrayal of Cookie Lyon -- Lucious Lyon's (played by Terrence Howard) ex-wife and ex-convict.
"It was very important to me that [Cookie Lyon] not be sassy and neck-rollin' and eye-bulgin' and attitude all the time," she said. "Everything she does is coming from a place of fighting for her family. That's why she's not a caricature."
Henson is featured on one of five covers of Glamour's February issue, along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (of "Veep"), Priyanka Chopra (of "Quantico"), Olivia Wilde (of "Vinyl"), and Viola Davis (of "How To Get Away With Murder"). The special issue will feature full interviews from each actress discussing various struggles they face in their respective careers -- including sexism in TV.
Last year during VH1’s Big in 2015 With Entertainment Weekly awards ceremony, Henson discussed whyy she think Cookie resonates so strongly with viewers.
“She says the things people are afraid to say, she does the things people maybe don’t have the balls to do. But it seems like it’s coming from a real, true place,” Henson said told Entertainment Weekly on the red carpet. “She’s not a mean person. Whenever she acts out, it’s because she’s taking up for herself, and rightfully so. And people see that.”
ELLE's February Women in TV issue hits select newsstands January 13 and nationwide on January 19.
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