It’s hard to picture anyone but Taraji P. Henson play Empire’s Cookie Lyon, but–believe it or not–someone almost beat her for the role. And it’s a dude.
OK, not really. But it makes for one hell of a sketch, right? James Corden thought this, so when Taraji stopped by The Late Late Show Tuesday night, he decided to play a little make-believe. Picture this: Taraji is in the casting room waiting to audition for Empire when–boom!–in walks James, decked out in Cookie attire, hungry for the same role.
Taraji wants the part. James wants the part. But there can only be one Cookie. How do they settle this, you ask? Well, what would Cookie do? Throw some shade until the competition cracks, of course! James starts off strong, scoffing at Taraji’s hoop earrings and jeans, but it’s Lady Henson who has the last word. She reaaaads James to filth–Into the Woods insults and all–leaving the poor guy in tears. The rest is history: Taraji goes in to read for the role, and James bows out (un)gracefully.
What can we say? Taraji is one tough cookie. (Watch the hilarious–and, yes, fictional–audition go down in the clip above.)