Belfast Telegraph

Taraji: The truth is challenging

Taraji P. Henson and Empire creator Lee Daniels revealed juicy details about the show while speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour.

The 44-year-old actress became a household name for portraying Cookie Lyon in the Fox drama, which debuted in January.

Taraji doesn’t think her job is easy in the slightest, but something about the challenge of depicting Cookie, who is often blunt, is scintillating for the thespian.

“I'm having the time of my life,” she gushed at the Television Critics Association press tour, according to USA Today. "Probably 80 per cent is Cookie, and 20 per cent is Taraji…I'm not as bold as she is. She can fly off the handle and say whatever she wants. I, however, can not.

“I'm just always blown away by the stories they come up with. It's always challenging me as an artist, to tell the truth and not be afraid."

Creator Lee Daniels also spoke on the panel with Taraji.

And he agrees with the actress that Empire offers an authenticity which can be striking for many people.

"It's not a black experience. I happen to be black. I happen to be gay. It's not that. It's a true experience...And that's what's rattling people,” Lee noted. “It's truth. It's unsettling."

Empire got renewed for a second season less than two weeks after its premiere episode.

Lee thinks it’s inevitable the show will expand even further than anticipated.

“I think there is going to be a spinoff from Empire without question,” he emphasised.

The trailer for season two of Empire was revealed on Thursday, with the promo featuring a clip spotlighting the major standoff between siblings Jamal and Hakeem, who are rivalling over which of them will be more successful in the music industry. Several high-profile guests will make appearances in future episodes, including Marisa Tomei, Pitbull, Ludacris and Chris Rock.

The second season of Empire premieres on September 23.

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From Belfast Telegraph