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A quick Q&A with Empire's hunky Jussie Smollett

2015-11-21 08:00

New York — Cookie, the artist? Possibly.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays the matriarch on the hit series Empire, is musically gifted, according to one of her co-stars.

"She sings her (butt) off. People don't know that. She's so incredible. She has a beautiful voice," said Jussie Smollett, who plays Cookie's son, Jamal Lyon, on the show.

"She's a trained theatre actress, so she knows ... musical theatre and all of that. She has a beautiful voice."

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Smollett talks about working with Henson, Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey and more on Empire, which airs on Thursdays at 21:00 on Fox (DStv 125)

So will we get to see Cookie sing on the show?

I don't know if she's going to sing on the show, but we've being trying to get her to sing on the show. She's just scared to go in the damn studio. I'm like, 'Go into the studio and record something. You have a great voice.'

Have you filmed with Mariah Carey yet?

Not yet. You know, me and Mariah go back like babies and pacifiers. Mariah is coming; I just don't know when. I know nothing like that ...I just know that as a fact I will be working with her soon, I just don't know if it's going to be Empire or a song. Who knows?

Maybe a tour?

I mean I would open for Mariah in a freakin' heartbeat. Heartbeat.

Have you guys thought about doing an Empire tour like Glee and other shows?

If a tour happened, it would have to be so next-level. It would have to be as dope as Empire... In the second week of December, Taraji, Yazz (Bryshere Gray) and I are doing a USO tour in Japan and we'll be performing and meeting all of the troops and their families during the holidays.

What has it been like working with Taraji, Terrence and the others on the set?

Taraji is not a joke. She's the real deal, and I love the fact that she takes her craft so seriously yet she doesn't take herself seriously. ... Terrence is this deep, slightly misunderstood person ... from Planet Terrence, but we should all be so lucky to sit on Planet Terrence every once in a while and have a conversation with that man because he's brilliant.

There's such a respect that we have for each other ... it's never an ego thing ... when I tell you there's not one bit of ego on that set, it's the honest to God truth — which is also why we laugh when they say about like feuds on set, which is further from the truth.

The show's ratings are strong but slightly down. What do you think about that?

First of all I don't think about the numbers, I don't look at that. I'm like, 'Are we No. 1?' Cool. And keep it moving. That's not my job to get all wrapped up in that. I'm aware of it — don't get me wrong, but it's kind of like ... Michael Jackson's Thriller vs. Bad ...That was such a huge album, but so was the other one.

(Photos: AP)

Read more on:    taraji p henson  |  empire  |  tv


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