Much of the world is just now learning Taraji P. Henson's name because of her magnificent portrayal of Cookie Lyon on Fox's Empire. However, Henson has actually be acting since the early 90s. A versatile actress, she has work on everything from Sister, Sister to Boston Legal. Empire's breakout first season was bursting with guest stars, everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Snopp Dogg were sucked into in the Lyon's universe, and apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. It's already been announced that Chris Rock, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz will be appearing in season two. Since the second season of the series has an additional seven episodes, I'm sure the list of guest stars will be quite lengthy.
One of the main reasons why Empire is so additively good, is because of the chemistry between the stars of the show. When Henson was offered the role of Cookie, she told the show's creators that she would only do the show if Terrence Howard played Lucious. The duo previously starred together in the Oscar nominated film, Hustle & Flow where their characters' romantic relationship was a focal point of the story-line. They will also be starring together in the upcoming film Term Life. Howard isn't the only huge name that Henson has worked with in the past. Considering the media firestorm that has surrounded Empire, I'm certain that a great deal of Henson's past co-stars would love a coveted guest starring role on the show. The Academy Award Nominated actress would certainly have her pick of guest stars, but here are twelve of Henson's past (and future) co-stars that we would love to see on Empire.
1. Brad Pitt
Film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Taraji P. Henson was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Pitt's mother in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Though Brad Pitt is a huge movie star, he is no stranger to television — he guest-starred on Friends in 2001 when he was married to series star Jennifer Aniston. Also, can you imagine how epic a Brad Pitt/Cookie showdown would be?
2. Michael Ealy
Film: Think Like A Man (2012) & Think Like A Man Too (2014)
Fresh off his creepy role The Following, Ealy would be fantastic if he were cast as someone like Cookie's conniving brother. I could see him pitting Cookie and Jamal against one another, and further fracturing their already complicated relationship — the drama possibilities are endless!
3. Taryn Manning
Film: Hustle & Flow (2005)
Though Manning is currently starring in the Netflix's hit Orange Is the New Black, she should take some time out of her busy schedule to visit Henson on Empire. Personally, I think she would be perfect as a snobby family member of Anika's.
4. Scott Foley
TV Show: Felicity (1998-2002)
According to the season finale of Scandal, it looks like Olitz is back on. This means our beloved Jake has a lot the time on his hands. We already know that Foley knows how to handle the bad guys — and with Malcolm gone, there is a position open for Empire Entertainment's Head of Security.
5. Sofia Vergara
Film: Four Brothers (2005)
As one of the highest-paid actresses on television, Vergara's presence on Empire would be stardom overload. She would be perfect as a fussy client, or even a new love-interest for Hakeem.
6. Ving Rhames
Baby Boy (2001)If Empire wants to introduce Cookie's father, Ving Rhames would be both intimidating and exceptional in the role.
7. Idris Elba
Film: No Good Deed (2014)
It really doesn't matter who this beautiful Brit should play on Empire — as long as he's there, that's enough. I mean, just look at him.
8. Jenifer Lewis
Film: Think Like A Man (2012)/Think Like A Man Too (2014)
Though Lewis currently has a recurring role on ABC's black-ish, she would be the perfect choice to play Cookie's surely feisty mother.
9. Kate Hudson
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? (Upcoming)Though I'm still hopeful that he will remain in jail, I'm sure Lucious will be set free in record time. With Anika off at Creedmoor and Vernon deceased, Lucious will certainly need a new right-hand person to help get his company back. Kate Hudson could play the perfect executive to give everyone at Empire Entertainment a run for their money.
10. Tom Felton
Film: From the Rough (2013)It's always going to be startling for me to see Tom Felton outside the world of Harry Potter — but I have to admit, he would be wonderful as Billy Beretti's son from Empire's rival company Creedmoor.
11. James Spader
TV Show: Boston Legal (2004-2008)
Though Spader has a steady gig on The Blacklist, Jamal is in need of a new manager — and Spader would be the perfect man to swoop in to try and take away Cookie's job. Images: Fox; Getty (11)