Award-winning actress Mo’Nique has shocked the television world by revealing there were initial talks to star in Fox’s hit “Empire” series.

According to the Mo, “Empire” producer Lee Daniels envisioned her playing fellow actress Taraji P. Henson‘s “Cookie” character.

“When he called me up, he offered me the role in Empire as Cookie,” she said. Mo’Nique said Daniels even sent her a script. Mo’Nique explained, “Maybe four days had gone by, and I hadn’t heard anything. So I’m trying to reach out to him to say, what time do I need to be in? Where do I need to be? When he finally returned the call, he says listen, the executives at Fox said that you’re difficult.” (Inside Edition)

Check out Mo’Nique’s full interview on the next page…

“Empire” creator Danny Strong recently revealed music mogul Jay Z inspired actor Terrence Howard‘s character “Lucious Lyon.”

“There’s certainly some truth in that, the Jay Z story, which very much inspired certain elements of Lucious Lyon, was that story. The entire cast is African-American. We’re going to have all different types of characters and we’re just going to tell good stories. We’re not going to sit here and play defense or think that our show is a representation of black culture in its entirety.” (“Sway In The Morning”)

According to new reports, the overnight hit’s streak of growing viewership went untouched in week seven.

Empire—which is also EW’s current cover story—continued its seemingly impossible climb Wednesday night, hitting 13.8 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49. Not only does that mark seven weeks of audience growth, but that demo rating is the highest for a regularly scheduled telecast of a broadcast network drama series in five years—since an epiosde of Grey’s Anatomy in 2010. For more, check out our preview of this week’s cover. (Entertainment Weekly)

Despite being supportive of the new hip-hop-based show, rap star 50 Cent recently said the writers created an overly fast-paced storyline.

“I watch it, it’s like ‘Glee’ with a little hip-hop music in it,” 50 said when asked if he watches ‘Empire.’ “I feel like the storyline’s moving extremely fast. It’s jumping from doom-doom-doom-doom. Like, I didn’t show my [‘Power] character until episode four because I was in the pen, in jail – and Taraji [P Henson‘s character] came home in the first episode after 17 years. It’s like, ‘D*mn, what happened?’ … I’m happy that the show’s successful. I got a lot of friends working on that project. Timbaland is the music director of that show. Terrence Howard was in my first film with me, co-starred, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Taraji actually read for Get Rich or Die Tryin’ so I actually met her during that time period.” (MTV)