Taraji-henson
Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson Doesn't Plan On Playing Cookie For "Too Long"

Henson explains her love/hate relationship with her infamous character and when she'll say goodbye to Empire. 

As we've learned through another tumultuous season of Empire, the infamous Lyon dynasty is nothing without its queen. With most fans flocking to the critically acclaimed series every week to see what Cookie's (played by Taraji P. Henson) up to, the actress says the character is starting to toy with her emotions.

Speaking to Variety last week, the celebrated actress explained how much the character has affected her life. After premiering in 2015 with astronomical ratings, Henson was happy to play a character she was afraid of. "Any role that scares me is a challenge and I don’t back away from challenges," she said. "That’s how I pick roles — if it scares me, I have to do it. Cookie scared me a bit and the challenge was, how do I make the audience connect and feel and empathize for her? Once I did that work, I was like, okay, people are either going to love her or hate her. Thank god it worked. Phew!”

The role has made her a staple in pop culture, but she doesn't plan to play Cookie for too long. The Golden Globe winner says she plans to put the broom and leopard prints away when the series reaches syndication (100 episodes). "I could not do this forever. No. Cookie wears me out!” Henson says. Cookie has gone through the breaks since the first season. From losing Lucious a second time to Anika (played by Grace Byers) to her sons facing substance abuse and mental anguish, Cookie has rode an emotional rollercoaster.

“She is emotionally all over the place. Those writers, they just keep pushing my emotions with every episode. By the 18th episode [of each season], I’m dead. I got to get far away. I don’t wear animal print. I cut my hair into a bob. I don’t wear a weave because I’ve got to get as far away from Cookie as possible.” Henson says she loves the role and what it's done in the pop world, but she thinks it's best to go out on top.

“I learned this from the women of Sex and the City— you’ve got to know when to go out. You don’t want to overstay your welcome. You want to go out on a high. You want to be remembered as the number one show on network,” Henson said. “I’m going to loose my passion, I know me. And Cookie is enough. I can’t do that for [too] long.”

Since we're only at 48 episodes, it looks like Cookie is going to be around just a little while longer.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television

Watch The Trailer For Lifetime’s Wendy Williams Biopic

Wendy Williams is putting it all out there for her Lifetime biopic. The trailer Wendy Williams: The Movie, arrived on Thursday (Dec. 3) showcasing the New Jersey native’s rise from radio shock jock to daytime talk show host, plus her marriage troubles and drug addiction.

William's infamous fainting spell during a live Halloween show in 2017 is also featured in the teaser.

Ciera Payton stars as Williams, and Morocco Omari portrays her ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, in the film, which is produced by Front Street for Lifetime and executive produced by Williams.

Darren Grant directed the film. The script was penned by Leigh Davenport and Scarlett Lacey.

Lifetime will air a documentary special titled, The Wendy Williams Story…What A Mess, directly after the biopic. Wendy Williams: The Movie airs on Lifetime on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. EST.

Watch the trailer below.

Continue Reading
Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dave Chappelle (@davechappelle)

Continue Reading

50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

Continue Reading

Top Stories