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Taraji P. Henson as Olivia Pope? It could have happened

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Chuck Hodes/Fox

Could you imagine if Olivia Pope traded in her suited-up The Limited-approved wardrobe for an entirely leopard-print get-up a la Cookie Lyon? It could have happened. Maybe.

When Empire star Taraji P. Hensonthe woman behind the boisterous, sizzurp-sipping, board-meeting-crashing Cookie on the Fox juggernautstopped by Angie Martinez on Thursday, she revealed, among other things, that she once auditioned for the role of Washington’s fiercest fixer.

“When I went in to read for Shonda Rhimes, in my mind I was like, ‘This is Kerry Washington. Why am I even in here?’ It was hers,” she told Martinez. “It was her job, and she’s great in it.”

And after all, if she were to be chosen as the leader of the Gladiators, chances are she wouldn’t have had the time for Empire, a role that she told Martinez she has become, in a way.

“Cookie’s stolen my life. It’s crazy because I’ve been here. It goes to show all my hard work has paid off. I’m no longer Taraji no more. I’m Cookie,” she said of the show, which has seen record-breaking ratings success week after week. “It’s overwhelming. Going to the store is not going to the store anymore. It’s weird.”

Also during the chat, Henson revealed the secret to preventing co-star Terrence Howard from gettingahemexcited during those hookup scenes. Check out the full interview below: