Is Empire big enough for two Cookies?!
In a telltale sign that the Fox drama plans to spend more time exploring their lead characters’ origin stories in Season 3, producers are searching for an African-American actor and actress to play “Teenage Loretha” (aka Cookie) and “Teenage Lucious,” respectively. It’s not clear exactly what age the young couple will be, but, per the casting notice, candidates should be “18 to play younger.”
In its first two seasons, Empire regularly flashed back to Cookie and Lucious’ early years as twentysomethings but it did so with portrayers Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. This will mark the first time we will see Cookie and Lucious played by other actors.
Teen Cookie is described as a “beautiful but innocent Catholic schoolgirl,” while Teen Lucious already “possesses an incredible voice and his own sense
Last August, Empire co-creator Lee Daniels announced his intention to develop a spinoff centered on Cookie’s upbringing in North Philadelphia, but it’s unclear if this recent casting news is connected to those plans. “Here Cookie is now, but how did she get to where she’s at right now?” he shared. “Let’s go back and understand her mother, her sisters…. Let’s understand the makings of her… It’d be like a prequel.”
Production on Empire‘s Season 3 premiere, titled “Light in Darkness,” begins next month in Chicago.