Live from New York, it’s Cookie Lyon!
Taraji P. Henson is gearing up to host Saturday Night Live for the first time on April 11, and the Empire star could not be more excited.
"It's like a dream come true," Henson told ET after shooting the promos on Tuesday for her upcoming episode this weekend. "Legends do SNL. I'm a legend."
Only the 10th black woman to ever host the late-night comedy show, Henson follows other legends like Oprah, Halle Berry, and most recently, Scandal star Kerry Washington. Fans are excited to see what types of characters the Oscar-nominated actress might play on the show, but it sounds like there won’t be another parody of her brash and bossy Empire character, Cookie Lyon.
"They've pitched me a couple sketches and I didn't hear one Cookie sketch. I think they already did it," she says, referencing the Empire parody the show did when Chris Hemsworth hosted on March 7.
"I must have watched that thing 10 times," Henson says of the sketch. "That's when I knew I'd made it. My publicist called and said, 'You know you're legendary when SNL spoofs you.' So then I puffed my chest out the next day. I walked a little different."
Henson is perhaps best known for her more dramatic roles, but the actress says she's loved comedy from an early age.
"I studied Richard Pryor," she told ET. "I actually made my father take me see his movie, Live on Sunset Strip. I wasn't ever supposed to go and see that, [because of] the things that he was talking about, but I did because I loved it."
She can’t spoil anything from SNL, but Henson did hint at what she’s hoping to see for her character on Empire as Fox’s hit hip-hop drama plans out its second season.
"I'm interested in finding out what she was doing those 17 years she was locked up," she confesses. "I really want to get into her prison life."
See Henson weigh on her favorite Cookie fashions and catchphrases in the video below.