Since January 7, we have come to love Terrence Howard as bad boy turned business mogul Lucious Lyon in Empire. But what you didn’t know is, when the show was being created, creator Lee Daniels had someone else in mind: Wesley Snipes!
When Taraji P. Henson read the script, she already explained that she wanted to work with Howard given their working chemistry. She said:
“I was like, ‘Lee, this is an incredible project. I think Cookie is amazing. I would love to play her. If you can get Terrence, I’m all about it. If not, good luck with the project!’”
Lee felt that because he and Terrence worked together on The Butler, that he didn’t think the actor was interested in doing a TV show.
While Howard admitted he was “scared to death” of the project after he read the script for the first episode, which finds Lucious shoving his then five-year-old son into a garbage can for wearing his mother’s high heels, “but I remembered how frightened I was when I was doing Hustle & Flow and Taraji would hold up, create the entire scene by looking at me and believing in me.” Terrance went on to say:
“When you’re around people who challenge you to go higher than you can, to sing better than you’ve ever thought you could sing, and you realize that you can reach a high place, which Fox has asked us to do with this show. Not only entertaining people, but change the persona of what’s happening in the world, you can’t help but jump on board and say, ‘I’m in, win or fail.’ I’m so thankful, because it has changed my life.”
Since it’s premiere, Empire has earned positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, and unlike most shows, the ratings keep rising with each episode. The show was no exception this week, as it earned 11.47 million viewers in ratings, though it isn’t that far from last week’s 11.36 million.