1-on-1 with Cookie! Empire star Taraji P. Henson reveals who inspired her most famous character

Empire fans - the wait is almost over. In just a few weeks the hit show will be back!

But to hold you over, FOX 5's Maureen Umeh got the inside scoop on what's about to go down from none other than Taraji P. Henson - otherwise known as Cookie.

She sat down with the star as she dished about what's ahead that's sure to send the drama to another level.

CHECK OUT PART 2 OF HER INTERVIEW HERE: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/99238913-video


"First things first, we have to get our company back. We have to start there. And we have to be strategic about it. That's all I can share about that," Henson said.

A marriage…a death…and what about the cliffhanger? Who pushed Rhonda down the stairs? She couldn't tell us who did it but says to expect much more drama and excitement this season.


Henson said she knew she would be a success even as she juggled her life as a single mother in school during her days growing up in southeast D.C.

"Whenever I was on a stage, whenever I had a script in front of me, I just felt at home. I felt at peace. I just knew that it had to be acting," she said. "I didn't have a 'plan b' because I didn't want to fail, so I didn't set myself for up failure. I set myself up to succeed."


Most think Henson's character Cookie was inspired by a woman. But actually, the character was inspired by her father.

"He had no buffer when he spoke. People were afraid to ask his opinion because they knew they were going to raw truth. I think that's why people connect with Cookie so much because she's not afraid to live or tell her truth," she said.


"For the babies coming from the hood - I just want you to know get out of your zip code. That's the first fact. Get out of your zip code - there is a big world out there." Henson said she was blessed to have a mother who was able to send her on trips to areas outside of the city. "I grew up in the hood but I didn't grow up with a hood state of mind - because my mother got me out of there."

"There's a big world out there," she said. "It doesn't matter where you started it's always about where you finish."

New episodes of Empire return on March 30. Get more on the show here: http://www.fox.com/empire