Taraji  P. Henson, who stars as Cookie Lyon on the musical drama “Empire” on FOX, has revealed that she previously auditioned for the role of Olivia Pope on “Scandal.” Henson admits she is happy Kerry Washington landed the role because she knew it “was hers.”

Henson was discussing failed auditions with Ryan Reynolds on an episode of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors”, when she revealed she auditioned for Shonda Rhimes’ hit show on ABC.  Reynolds admitted he auditioned and failed for a Coen brothers movie.

Taraji explained that she knew the role was meant for Kerry. She said, “I auditioned for Shonda Rhimes for ‘Scandal’. Thank God, Kerry [Washington] got it. It was her job. I think that was the last time I auditioned. I’m not that actress that wants to do everything. When I got it [the script], I was like ‘This is Kerry Washington’. That was her blessing.”

Although Henson did not land the role of the fixer on “Scandal”, she went on to make a name for herself on the popular show “Empire.”

Three years later, Henson landed the perfect part for her that thrust her into the spotlight. Taraji has described the role by stating, “Cookie’s stolen my life.”

The actress previously could walk down the street and not be recognized, but that has totally changed. Henson said in a previous interview, “It’s crazy ’cause I’ve been here. It goes to show all my hard work has paid off. I’m no longer Taraji … I’m Cookie. It’s overwhelming.”

Taraji stars as Cookie Lyons, a main character on the FOX series, as the ex-wife of former drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). Lucious gets released from prison and tries to lay claim to half of their multimillion-dollar record label, which was originally funded by her drug money.


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