Taraji P. Henson Actually Hates Her 'Empire' Catchphrase

by Raphael Chestang 4:40 PM PDT, August 24, 2015
Playing Taraji P. Henson Actually Hates Her 'Empire' Catchphrase

Having a catchphrase can be a gift and a curse. This is a phenomenon Empire's Taraji P. Henson knows all too well, as she revealed to ET in a recent sit-down.

In a season one scene, Henson improvised Cookie Lyon's catchphrase "Boo Boo Kitty" -- the nickname her character gives Lucious' (Terrence Howard) girlfriend Anika (Grace Gealey) -- thinking nothing of it. But ever since, it's caught fire -- and now, she's stuck with it.

WATCH: Why 'Empire's' Cookie Lyon Is the Queen of Primetime

"They won't let it go away," Henson confessed to ET. "I tried to get rid of it, and they were like, 'No, it's such a classic line!' The writers keep writing it in every script, and I'm like, 'What have I done?'"

Henson might be tired of her catchphrase, but one thing she can't get enough of is her talented cast mates, and she has a great way of showing it.

"All of them have gotten really incredible gifts for their birthday, like Louis Vuitton," Henson said. "I've bought very expensive things for the cast members for their birthdays, so hopefully they remember me."

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The Oscar-nominated actress says that her giving comes from a motherly place. She's taken on a maternal role behind the scenes of the show, especially as they prepare for an even bigger second season.

"I'm constantly checking on my boys. I know they're young men, but I call them my boys," Henson said. "I'm constantly checking on their mental state, like, 'How are you with all of this?' making sure they're not changing."

A lot will be changing in the show's upcoming season, as Lucious must fight for his position as CEO of Empire Entertainment from behind bars. The problem? His son Andre (Trai Byers) is trying to remove Lucious from his post with the help of Cookie, which leaves Lucious with no choice but to have Jamal (Jussie Smollett) wage war on his behalf.

WATCH: Woman Claiming to Be the Real 'Cookie' From 'Empire' Files $300 Million Lawsuit

The power struggle trickles down to the baby of the Lyon family, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), who continues to butt heads with Jamal.

Empire returns to Fox on Sept. 23.