Taraji P. Henson Talks ‘Empire’, Not Dating Idris Elba And More On ‘Wendy’

Man, Cookie doesn’t play…

If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out Fox’s “Empire,” one reason you should – Tarji P. Henson.

Outside of being a ratings hit for the network in addition to great acting and story-lines, Henson shines as the newly reformed Cookie Lyon alongside Academy Award-nominated actor Terrence Howard.

One of things that makes Henson likable is that she personifies a strong Black woman who isn’t afraid to pull a Drake’s “0 to 100” real quick while honing in on sophistication to match her Howard University education.

On the promo trail for the show, the actress paid another visit to the purple couch on “The Wendy Williams Show.”

Henson opened up about why she has no interest in dating her “No Good Deed” co-star Idris Elba, “Empire” and being worth more than a date at Chipotle and the good ole salad bowl.

Check out some highlights below:

On the current state of her love life:

No, I’m not dating right now. Same old story. It’s hard to date. Guys don’t court anymore. They don’t court! Take me out to dinner. Say you’re going to pick me up at a certain time. Dating should be an event. You like the guy, so you want to get pretty for him, so you spend all day in the spa. What happened to that? […] Some [just try to drag you into bed] or others think they can just take you to Chipotle, grill pancakes and then jump in the sack. And it’s like, hmmmmmm, I’m worth more than pancakes.

Wendy: Maybe you should date older guys then?

But they have issues [points downstairs]. So it’s tough.

On if she had a New Year’s kiss with anyone:

Myself. I called my son and I wished him a happy new year. But here’s the thing…I’m not like, ‘Woe is me, I don’t have a man.’ I am extremely happy.

On dating actor Idris Elba:

Me? Dated Idris Elba? I ain’t fighting K. Michelle! *laughs* That was a joke! That was a serious joke. No. I don’t remember. I don’t date guys that I work with. I love him dearly. We would make great business partners.

On bad decisions she made early on in her love life in college:

It was this one. I was just young and dumb. He was my first sexual experience and I thought we were gonna get married. I was at Howard University, but he was my high school sweetheart.

Wendy: What kind of stuff would you do for him?

I put my name on a lease for an apartment for him that he was taking other girls to because I saw their weave hair all over the floor. At the time my hair was red so I was like, uh uh.[…]

Don’t let [a man] screw your credit up! How about he has to earn that. We shouldn’t say ‘Don’t do it, but if he’s a good guy and he takes care of mentally and spiritually then it’s okay.’ But not in college. Not all, but some are not ready. Most are not

Check out the 10-minute interview below:


Fans can catch Henson, Howard and the rest of the “Empire” cast Wednesday’s at 9/8 central on Fox.

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