Taraji P. Henson Auditioned for the Role of Olivia Pope on ‘Scandal’

taraji-p-hensonA few hours before yesterday’s season finale of the new Fox musical drama Empire, Taraji P. Henson dropped by the Angie Martinez show on Power 105.1 FM radio in New York to let fans in on some secrets. Henson has been making waves on the series as Cookie Lyon, the outspoken ex-wife of a music executive and mother of their three sons, who also happened to serve a 17-year stretch in prison for drug dealing. Empire would be a completely different show without her, and she expresses how her life has been changed by Cookie:

Cookie’s stolen my life… It goes to show all my hard work has paid off. It’s overwhelming; going to the store is not going to the store anymore. It’s weird. I’ve always done my own grocery shopping. So, I’ve had to hire an assistant because it’s just been nonstop since the show.

But if things had gone a little differently, she may never have been Cookie, but rather another one of TV’s favorite, powerful female characters — Olivia Pope:

“When I went in to read for Shonda Rhimes, in my mind I was like, ‘This is Kerry Washington. Why am I even in here?’ It was hers; it was her job; and she’s great in it.”

Watch the interview: