When you think of Empire, you probably think about a pack of clawing Lyons fighting over their record dynasty, the sexy cat-and-mouse chase between exes Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Luscious (Terrence Howard), or maybe even Cookie's lavi$h hood rich-meets-haute couture wardrobe. But today, friends, I ask you to take a closer look at the character often prancing alongside the Cookie monster: her assistant Porsha, played by Ta'Rhonda Jones.
While I admit it's hard to play favorites with an ensemble cast like this, I've beee rooting for Jones since day one. I still giggle at an early season scene where Porsha struggled to walk in high heels as Cookie angrily stomped out of the Empire Entertainment offices. (Porsha is all of us.) But my fandom isn't just about her character — Ta'Rhonda is a beauty star in her own rite.
Before the show's second season, series creator Lee Daniels let Ta'Rhonda call the shots in the glam room. "I told Lee, 'I don't want those braids back. That was hell for me!" she told Glamour of one of her character's early hairstyles. "Lee saw my hair green and was like, 'I like this. Let's do this.' Lee told [wardrobe and styling], 'Just leave her. Don't change her hair, let her wear her own clothes, let her do her own makeup.'"
Makes sense: She switches her hairstyles more than most of us change purses — curly pixie one day, long faux dreadlocks the next. She even names some of her wigs (you gotta see Shelby), and does her own makeup for the red carpet, too. Ahead, see why Daniels had the right (and bright) idea.