Taraji P Henson Explains Why She Almost Turned It Down

January 29, 2015 3:00 AM

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Taraji P Henson Explains Why She Almost Turned It Down

Lee Daniels’ breakout hip-hop drama Empire (Wednesdays on Fox) draws more than 10 million people a week — thanks in large part to Taraji P. Henson. The actress plays Cookie, the scene-stealing ex-wife of a gangster-turned-record-exec (Terrence Howard) who’s coming for her share of the company after finishing a 17-year prison stint — that is, when she’s not hurling shoes and giving other characters a vicious tongue-lashing.

TIME caught up with the actress to talk about Cookie’s already-iconic style, her shadiest insults and the show’s take on political correctness.

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