Watch: Taraji P. Henson Talks About the President and First Lady’s Love of Empire

First lady Michelle Obama; Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Empire
Paul Morigi/Getty Images; IMDb
First lady Michelle Obama; Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Empire
Paul Morigi/Getty Images; IMDb

Well, who knew that President Barack Obama and the first lady were hooked on Empire, just like the rest of the nation?


The way Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie Lyon on the show, found out about the first couple's stamp of approval made Henson drop her phone. During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on his talk show, Henson said that Lee Daniels (the show's mastermind and executive producer) called her from the White House state dinner earlier this year to share the news. 

"Lee [Daniels] calls me and goes, "Oh my God, you're not going to believe this," Henson recalled, going on to recite what Daniels told her: " 'You know how you're in the line, and everyone wants to shake the president and the first lady's hand? As soon as I get over there, our president says to me, 'Now, you know, Lee, I would never call Lucious. He would call me.' "


President Obama was referring to a scene in the first season in which the president tries to get in contact with Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard).  

"He's talking about an episode from the first season," Henson exclaimed. Oh, and it gets better. 

"And then [Daniels] moves down the line, and our first lady goes, 'Where is Taraji P. Henson? I want to see her. You have no idea how much I love Cookie,' " Henson said Daniels told her over the phone.

"I dropped the phone," Henson said. 

Who knew that Michelle Obama was a cookie monster? 

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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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