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Taraji P. Henson had an ultimatum for "Empire" producers: You either get Terrence Howard or you don't get me.

And from that, creator Lee Daniels knew that he had to have Taraji for his TV show. After all, that was something that Cookie Lyon, her hard-nosed character, would say.

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"She said, look Lee, if you wanna do it with Terrence, I'm in. if you don't wanna do it with Terrence, I'm out," the actor told Jimmy Fallon of his road to playing the uber-successful music mogul Lucius Lyon on the hit FOX show, which airs on Wednesday nights. "[Lee] was like, oh, that's Cookie."

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Taraji's word carries weight, because, well, she's Taraji P. Henson.

"She's on icon," Terrence said. "She called me and said, 'Terrance, you need to do this thing.' I didn't know what she was talking about."

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When Taraji speaks, Terrence listens. Just like Luscious and Cookie.