Mo'Nique Says She Was First Choice to Play Cookie on 'Empire'

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Mo'Nique attends the 83rd Academy Awards Nominations Announcement held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Jan. 25, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. 

It appears Mo'Nique and Lee Daniels aren't seeing eye-to-eye once again.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Mo'Nique says Daniels offered her the fan-favorite part of Cookie Lyon on the huge hit Empire before it ultimately went to Taraji P. Henson. "Mr. Daniels offered me the part of Cookie, and I have the emails and the sides to go along with it, and what he said was, 'I'm new to this TV thing. This is just a technicality… you have the role,'" she said. "Okay. I have the emails. Well, four days have gone by because I didn't receive a phone call or another email for the location of where I was supposed to go to do this screen test."

The 10 Best Songs From 'Empire,' In Order

Ultimately, Mo'Nique says, Fox -- which airs Empire -- felt she was difficult to work with and things didn't move forward. Empire co-creator Danny Strong weighed in on Twitter, shooting down Mo'Nique's claims. (A rep for the show told Billboard they have no comment.)

Strong's second remark was retweeted by Henson. 

Recently, Mo'Nique has been in the headlines after saying she was "blackballed" from Hollywood following her Oscar win for Precious.

Billboard reached out to a rep for Daniels and Mo'Nique, but did not immediately receive a response.  


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.