Empire's Taraji P. Henson Talks Auditioning to Be Olivia Pope and Her Trick to Keeping Sex Scenes Professional
Taraji P. Henson is no longer Taraji P. Henson. And she’s thrilled about that!
But before the actress became known to America as Cookie (her character on Fox’s breakout hit Empire), she had her sights set on another name: Olivia Pope.
Three years later, Henson has landed an even better part – and more notoriety than she ever would have expected. Or, as the actress put it: “Cookie’s stolen my life.”
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Henson says she never used to get recognized on the street, but all that has changed in a matter of months: “It’s crazy ’cause I’ve been here,” Henson said. “It goes to show all my hard work has paid off. I’m no longer Taraji … I’m Cookie. It’s overwhelming.”
As for her time off the streets and on set, Henson had plenty to say about that, too – specifically, a rather, ahem, unique strategy for making sure costar Terrence Howard doesn’t get carried away during bedroom scenes.
“You have to keep them professional. They can’t help if they get aroused,” she said. “Every time we lay there, he kept talking to his little male member . Every time he would get on top of me I would say [in a baby voice], ‘Daddy, why are you on top of me? Where is Mommy? Why is the door closed?’ And it worked!”