Jamal Lyon has already gone through a lot of changes in Empire‘s second season, and we’re only two episodes deep. Jussie Smollett, who plays the singer-turned-CEO, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that Jamal’s not ready to be the head of a company, and just how much that slap from Cookie really hurt.
At the end of last season, Lucious (Terrence Howard) put Jamal in charge of Empire, which was a bit of a shock considering their tumultuous relationship. Jussie says that despite how everything is looking up for Jamal, he will continue to seek his father’s approval this season. Viewers will get a chance to see how this affects his tenure as the Empire leader as well. Via THR:
“For someone like Jamal, the approval and love of your father is like a drug and he is a drug addict,” Jussie says. “He is addicted to Lucious. He is addicted to the approval and the love and the acceptance of Lucious. So he’s probably the most vulnerable to stupid situations and bad situations because he’s following behind Lucious under the disguise of, ‘Oh, I’m a leader.’”
Jussie also explains that the dynamic of his relationship with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) changes. Now that Cookie and company have decided to leave Empire, things are tense with everyone. And that slap from the season premiere? Jussie coaxed Taraji into slapping him with all her might to make it believable for the audience at home:
“I didn’t want it to be a stunt. [Taraji] said “Yeah, I’m not going to slap you hard,” and I said, “No, I want you to slap me as hard as you can.” “Well not as hard as I can.” “No, Taraji, as hard as you can.” And then she said, “Look, I’m from DC, don’t play with me,” and when she did it, she literally did it as hard as she could. And that was a very, very real moment. it’s heartbreaking to watch every time because it felt so real when we did it. After they said, “Cut,” we went off to our separate corners, we didn’t speak. And then right after, we’re right back to being us again. I love working with her. It made for a really, really great scene. But my face was hella swollen afterwards, that’s for damn sure.”
Now that Lucious made bail in yesterday’s episode (“Without a Country”), Jamal will be getting even more into his music again, since it was hard to balance the two as CEO.
“Jamal now feels that there is room for him to have a little bit of freedom to get into the studio and that’s a great thing for him. We’ll start to see Jamal settling back into who he is because he’s going to be able to create.”
We just wanna know, can we get another “Drip Drop” and “You’re So Beautiful?” That’s all we want.
Empire airs Wednesdays on FOX at 9 p.m.
SOURCE: THR | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty/FOX
20 Reasons Taraji P. Henson Is Our Favorite Girl In Hollywood (PHOTOS)
1 of 20
1. Because that one eyebrow is ALWAYS on fleek.
2 of 20
2. Because she's a Howard University woman.
3 of 20
3. Because she's serving EVERYTHING on Fox's new hit show "Empire."
4 of 20
4. Because we all have a little "Yvette" from "Baby Boy" in us. (And some of us have had a Jody in our lives too).
5 of 20
5. Because somehow she manages to make every selfie on Instagram look like a full-fledged photoshoot.
6 of 20
6. Because she's never afraid to take off the heels and just be a down chick.
7 of 20
7. Because she's never hesitant to show love to other sisters in Hollywood.
8 of 20
8. Because this reminds us of something we would do in the pool. Basically…we're all Taraji.
9 of 20
9. Because she uses her celebrity for the causes that mean the most.
10 of 20
10. That hair!
11 of 20
11. Because her filmography is more diverse than people who've been in the game longer than her (and we must say…better).
12 of 20
12. Because she rocked this patterned ensemble on the 'Gram and now we wish we had one.
13 of 20
13. Because no matter the role, the time period, or the emotion, she's spot on.
14 of 20
14. Did we mention the hair?
15 of 20
15. All of these movies…ALL OF THEM.
16 of 20
16. Because she got a chance to do this to Idris Elba. It's not fair, but that's our girl, so we're happy for her.
17 of 20
17. Because she's always a little DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) wherever she goes (even when she's rocking a NY hat).
18 of 20
18. There goes that hair…
19 of 20
19. Need we say more?
20 of 20
20. And because she'll always be the relatable girl next door that we love. Never change, Taraji!