Mo’Nique: Lee Daniels Offered Me Cookie’s Role on ‘Empire’ First
It’s tea time with Mo’Nique once again.
Last week, there was some misunderstanding between her and filmmaker Lee Daniels following her THR piece about being “blackballed from Hollywood” after her Oscar-winning role in 2009’s Precious. Now, she tells Access Hollywood that the role of Cookie Lyon—now played by Taraji P. Henson—on FOX’s hip-hop drama Empire was offered to her first.
“Mr. Daniels offered me the part of Cookie, and I have the emails and the sides to go along with it, and what he said was, ‘I’m new to this TV thing. This is just a technicality… you have the role.’ Okay. I have the emails. Well, four days have gone by because I didn’t receive a phone call or another email for the location of where I was supposed to go to do this screen test,” she said, noting that she was also offered a role in Daniels’ film The Butler, which didn’t pan out.
Empire co-creator Danny Strong swiftly shut down the reports on Twitter, saying Taraji was the top choice for “Cookie”:
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) February 28, 2015
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) March 1, 2015
Reaction from Mo’Nique still pending.