Empire actress Taraji P. Henson made a confession to Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds in Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series: Henson auditioned for the iconic role of Olivia Pope on ABC’s hit show Scandal. Kerry Washington ultimately won the role and has truly come to define the character — and Henson agrees, according to Variety.
“I auditioned for Shonda Rhimes for Scandal,” she told Reynolds. “Thank God Kerry got it. It was her job.” But imagine a world where Henson played Olivia Pope — and faced off with Mellie, President Fitz, and B1613. Instead, Henson won the role of Cookie Lyon years later — and it’s such an iconic part that she gets recognized everywhere.
|Taraji P. Henson Scandal Olivia Pope|
“Because you’re walking down the street, and there’s like, “Hey, Cookie!” she says. “And maybe I didn’t want the world to see how I look today.”
Reynolds responds, “That’s the price of an iconic character that you play.”
Read the rest of the exchange below and watch the video below.
Henson: See, it was fine until Cookie came. I was OK under the radar. I was good. I could go to Target.
Reynolds: But Cookie’s viral.
Henson: Never saw that coming. And then I go from this normal life to … now I have to find a house on a private, gated road. I love to people-watch. I love to go to the park. But I can’t — everybody’s watching me. I’ve tried wigs, I’ve tried shades. I’ve tried it all.
Reynolds: That’s a good problem to have, when you’ve created a character that has so permeated the zeitgeist and everybody loves them.