‘Empire’s’ Taraji P. Henson dishes on battle royale: Cookie vs. ‘Boo Boo Kitty’

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) in "Empire."
Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) in “Empire.”
(Chuck Hodes)

Did you just love that vicious knockdown/dragout fight between Cookie and “Boo Boo Kitty” during the season finale of “Empire?”

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie, knew that you would.

“It was my favorite moment of the season,” Henson said days before the airing of the episode, which pitted her hard-bitten character Cookie Lyon against one of her bitter rivals Anika (Grace Graely), the younger, lighter-skinned former squeeze of her ex-husband Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). Cookie derisively refers to Anika as “Boo Boo Kitty” or “Halle Berry.”

All season the two women have been circling, hurling furious insults at each other as they vied for Lucious’ affections. Fans of the series just knew the show was leading up to Cooke and Anika going toe to toe.


But before the scene was filmed, Henson was very clear that the battle should not look like the showdowns between the two Carrington women Krystle and Alexis on the iconic prime-time soap “Dynasty”.

The most famous brawl between the two characters, played by Linda Evans (Krystle) and Joan Collins (Alexis), took place in a lily pond, with the combatants thowing each other around in the water.

“What I love about it most is, I fought so hard for it not to be a reenactment of the ‘Dynasty’ fight,” said Henson. “I told them, ‘I said, ‘That’s already been done. ‘That’s two wealthly women fighting in mansions.’ ”

She added with a loud laugh: “Cookie don’t play that. She has been in prison with animals! You’ve haven’t seen this kind of female brawl before now! Trust me. We are going to break the Internet!”


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