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Taraji P. Henson’s ‘Empire’ character, Cookie, stormed onto the television scene with fur coats and a lot to say. The loudest character on TV ended up earning Henson a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination.

With the dramatic musical series entering its fourth season, Henson weighs in on the toll the character takes on her.

“I could not do this forever. No. Cookie wears me out!” Henson told Variety.

“She drains me. 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.”

With Taraji being exhausted with her character, the question remains, how much longer can she live in this role?

“Once it’s syndicated — and then I’m like, ‘Thank you. Goodnight!’” she told the site.

But the emotional weight of the role doesn’t take away from Taraji’s appreciation for the character.

“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, OK, people are either going to love her or hate her. Thank God it worked. Phew!”



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Taraji P. Henson On Her Legendary ‘Empire’ Character: “I Could Not Do This Forever. Cookie Wears Me Out”  was originally published on