Loretha “Cookie” Lyon, played by the incredible and inspirational Taraji P. Henson not only brought sass, but strength, knowledge, and fire to our screens through her role in Empire.
An American musical drama series set in New York, focusing on a fictional hip-hop music and entertainment company called Empire. A family of five owning the industry but behind the scenes dealing with hardship, power struggles and complex situations.
The series begins with Cookie being released from prison for a heinous crime she did not commit. Blinded by unconditional love, she took the fall for her husband Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard).
From the very beginning we see her struggling to get her life back together. As soon as she gets back home, we see how two of her sons resent her. Her younger son Hakeem Lyon, shut her out as he held her accountable for not being there to raise him. Her eldest, Andre Lyon was overly ambitious and focused more on the family finances than his mother. Jamal, the middle son, was the only family member to not give up on her. All whilst, Lucious had taken the throne of the empire of which Cookie spent her life building for the both of them.
Cookie’s character focuses on the struggles many women till this day suffer from. She fell in love with someone who became entrapped by his own greed that he let her take the fall for a crime he committed. Throughout every episode Cookie is introduced to problems she has no choice but to raise up to. She suffers betrayal from a selection of people but each and every time finds ways to remain strong, fierce, and dedicated to her family.
Many women tend to give up easily and let themselves become overwhelmed with situations. They can feel it’s only up to them to figure out the solution and not ask for help when it is needed. When watching how Cookie dealt with many moments, it was obvious she felt that way, but her eagerness to stay positive and ruthlessness (at times) to get to where she knew she deserved to be was one of the most inspiring things to witness through a television series.
Throughout the whole series, Cookie Lyon remained one of the strongest Empire characters and continued to remind everyone that anything is possible, and every situation includes good and bad. She was also the one to come out with some of the most unforgettable quotes the show had to offer, from “A girl should be like a butterfly, easy to see but hard to catch” to “Everybody wants to be Beyonce, but you don’t want to put in the work”.
Fox TV truly worked their magic and cast the perfect woman for this role!