Empire fans will certainly recognize Ajiona Alexus as the ambitious teenage Cookie Lyon on the hit musical drama.
Made famous by Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, Alexus has been embodying the fierce diva, in her younger years in flashbacks during the third season of the hit series. Taking us back the ’80s with her asymmetrical bob and chunky gold earrings, Alexus introduces us to a fiercely intelligent Cookie who finds herself enraptured by the talented but vicious Lucious Lyon. As we relive the former couple’s past, we learn just how much Cookie truly sacrificed for the Lyon dynasty.
Prior to slaying her role on Empire, the 21-year old actress starred on The Rickey Smiley Show and had a guest-starring role on ABC’s long-running drama, Grey’s Anatomy. After snagging the role of Young Cookie, Alexus sat down with Fox to discuss putting her own spin on the infamous character. She said, “Young Cookie, she’s a force to be reckoned with, at a very young age she knows what she wants. The chemistry between Young Cookie and Young Lucious is just crazy.”
Don’t think Empire is the only place you’ll be seeing this newcomer’s face. Alexus is also starring in the Netflix Original Series, 13 Reasons Why. Produced by Selena Gomez and based off of the novel by Jay Asher, the series follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.
On the series, Alexus plays Sheri (named Jenny in the book), a popular cheerleader who has a huge crush on Clay and whose small choices made a huge impact on Hannah’s life.
13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix & Empire airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on FOX.