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It’s Wednesday night, so you know what that means: Empire is on. Although the show is centered around Lucious Lyon and his three sons, the women of the series steal the show.

But just who are these lovely ladies? Take a look…

Cookie Lyon

Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, has been deemed the HBIC of primetime television. Her sass and brash attitude have quickly helped her become an icon for African-American women everywhere. Although rumors recently surfaced that Cookie was originally supposed to be played by Monique, we can’t see anyone else slaying the role better than Henson. Cookie Lyon is unstoppable.

Becky Williams

Gabourey Sidibe as Becky, Lucious’ hard-working and witty assistant, is just what primetime TV needs. Not only is Becky the trusted Executive Assistant of Empire Records, but she’s one of the few people Lucious trusts. In a recent interview, Gabourey revealed:

“[The part] was originally for a boyish little white girl and [Lee Daniels] was like ‘If you aren’t doing anything after American Horror Story, I have a part for you. I read it and really liked it.”

Gabby totally takes the script and flips it on its head.

Anika Calhoun

Anika is the head of A&R for Empire Records, and she also happens to be Lucious Lyon’s girlfriend, who unsurprisingly doesn’t get along well with his feisty ex-wife Cookie. Anika Calhoun is the breakout role for actress Grace Gealey. On working with such an all-star cast, Gealey told Celebuzz:

“They’re just phenomenal, they’re phenomenal to work with, phenomenal to create with. They’re very present, very honest actors that are extremely intuitive. It’s just been a real pleasure creating art with them. I think that, as people can see so far we’ve been able to create some really wonderful things together, so I’ve been really happy.”


If you thought Cookie was something else, you haven’t seen her assistant Porsha in action. Porsha is Cookie’s right-hand woman with energy to match Mrs. Lyon. Porsha is played by rookie actress Ta’Rhonda Jones. In an interview with WGN Radio, Jones revealed that she auditioned for the role after hearing that Terrence Howard was looking for female rappers in their twenties. She originally auditioned for the role of Tianna, but Lee Daniels saw her as Porsha.


Camilla is the hot cougar girlfriend of Hakeem Lyon, and who better to play a super hot leggy older woman than supermodel Naomi Campbell? When asked about dating young men, she revealed in an interview:

“I don’t like the word cougar. For me this is how I look at it: When you love, you love. That’s it. Age is just a number.”

Empire airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on FOX.


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