Taraji P. Henson landed 'Empire' Cookie role 30 seconds into audition

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Apparently Taraji P. Henson was destined to play Cookie Lyon on Fox's breakout hit "Empire."

The actress landed the coveted role less than a minute into her audition, co-creator Danny Strong told fans Saturday at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Henson, who previously played a police detective on the CBS drama "Person of Interest," bowled over Strong and co-creator Lee Daniels when she came in for a test with leading man Terrence Howard.

"About 30 seconds into Taraji being Cookie, Lee whispered to me, 'She's Cookie right?'" Strong said. "Then [Lee said to Henson]: 'All right b****, you got the part.'"

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Taraji P. Henson landed 'Empire' Cookie role 30 seconds into audition
EMPIRE: Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) shows up at Empire in the 'Outspoken King' episode of EMPIRE airing Monday, Jan. 14, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Jamal (Jussie Smollett, L) records at a 'ghetto' studio in the 'Dangerous Bonds' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard, R) protects Anika in the 'False Imposition' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 06: Jussie Smollett arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Empire' held at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on January 6, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
EMPIRE: Michael (guest star Rafael de la Fuente, L), Jamal (Jussie Smollett, C) and Porsha (guest star Ta'Rhonda Jones, R) wait for Cookie to arrive in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) holds a secret in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gives Hakeem some advice in the 'False Imposition' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Gladys Knight performs as herself at Bunkie's funeral in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Anika (Grace Gealey, L) runs into Porsha (guest star Ta'Rhonda Jones, R) in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Anika (Grace Gealey, L), Lucious (Terrence Howard, C) listen to Hakeem's (Bryshere Gray, R) new song in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard) delivers a eulogy for Bunkie in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, L) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett, R) pay their respects to Bunkie in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, L) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, R) chat in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) is upset in the 'Dangerous Bonds' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: In a Flashback episode, Lucious (Terrence Howard) rehearses at home in the 'False Imposition' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, R) introduces his new girlfriend Tiana (guest star Serayah McNeill, L) in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) visits an old friend in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Andre (Trai Byers, L) and Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, R) have a conversation in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard) toasts his family in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Pictured L-R: Jussie Smollett, Serayah McNeill, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealey, Terrence Howard, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard, C) surprises Anika (Grace Gealey, R) with a performance from Anthony Hamilton (guest star) in the 'Dangerous Bonds' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Anika (Grace Gealey) watches a performance in the 'Devil Quotes Scripture' episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Andre (Trai Byers, L) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, R) chat in the 'Dangerous Bonds' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Anika (Grace Gealey, L) and Lucious (Terrence Howard, R) have a chat in the 'False Imposition' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard, R) talks to Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, L) in the 'False Imposition' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Michael (guest star Rafael de la Fuente, L), Jamal (Jussie Smollett, C) and Porsha (guest star Ta'Rhonda Jones, R) wait for Cookie to arrive in the 'Out Damned Spot' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, R) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett, L) perform in the 'Outspoken King' episode of EMPIRE airing Monday, Jan. 14, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
Marisa Tomei arrives at the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
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Strong went on to say no other actresses were seriously considered for the role of Lucious Lyon's ex-wife. He also confirmed reports that producers offered Wesley Snipes the Luscious part, but Snipes declined. Still, Strong noted, "I always wanted Terrence."

Snipes played a similar character in the 1991 film "New Jack City."

Last week in an interview with TheWrap, Henson said she initially had concerns about taking the role because Cookie is so sassy.

"I was scared to death. I struggled with it because I was like, 'Oh, my God. She is so ghetto.' But then I was like, 'But she's so real. She speaks the truth,'" Henson told TheWrap.

Cookie's "truth" was rewarded last weekend when Henson became the first African-American woman to win Best Actress in a Drama Series honor at the Critics' Choice Television Awards.

Watch TheWrap's interview with Henson below.

Read original story Taraji P. Henson Landed 'Empire' Cookie Role 30 Seconds Into Audition At TheWrap

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