Video Photos: Empire Season 2 Carnagie Hall Premiere – Taraji Henson Calls Cookie and Lucious Heros
The breakout hit musical series, Empire, threw a premiere part at Carnegie Hall in New York City on September 12, 2015 like no other premiere party we have ever seen.
The hip-hop drama’s first season surprised everyone when it gained more than 16 million viewers for the season finale of the show. Celebrating the success of the series, a Saturday night premiere party at Carnegie hall with the entire cast along with the guest stars on season two including Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Marissa Tomei and Naomi Campbell in attendance was in order. Also appearing on the series for season 2 are Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Common and Pitbull.
During the event, Taraji P. Henson, the actress who plays the break out character matriarch Cookie Lyon, said the show is trying to “make you think. You can’t feel safe, the world is not safe. You see the news. If we don’t speak about it, who will. That’s what Empire represents.”
The moderator asked the cast, what the first thing they thought about was when they were introduced to their character.
Terrence Howard, who plays the matriarch, Lucious, said, “my first thought was this is never going to work” He realized after speaking to several people, it would be challenging, “playing this monster. An ex-wife, a gay son, a bi-polar son, a crack-head son (laughing).”
Taraji P. Henson said,
“these are characters you are used to seeing in movies. Say what you want to say, do what you want to do, but this is a primetime…. I was like this is never going to work. I was expecting for it to be on cable. I get the call that this was picked up. I was like, ‘they’re crazy.’ Every week I get the script I think, ‘I can say this. REALLY?’ It’s what is dreamt of as an artist. To be a part of this show, is just amazing. And yes, I was scared as hell of Cookie, but I knew if she was played and based in reality then people would identify with her and her struggle. You can say what you want to say, but at the end of the day, their sons are not statistics. Their sons are not in jail They broke a cycle of poverty. Anyone who is from the hood knows that is very hard to do but to break it and for your black boys, they (Lucious and Cookie) are kind of heroes in a very American way.”
Check out the video and the photos of the Empire event at Carnegie hall on the next page where the rest of the cast reveals how they felt when they got their roles and read the script for the controversial series.