EMPIRE co-star Bryshere Y. Gray on the season finale – exclusive interview

Bryshere Gray star as Hakeem in the Fox hit series EMPIRE | © 2015 Michael Lavine/FOX

Fox’s new hit EMPIRE has its two-hour first-season finale Wednesday, March 18, but have no fear – it was renewed for a second season almost immediately after it premiered to huge ratings in January. The series, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, follows the personal and musical (and financial) fortunes of the Lyon recording dynasty, headed by ailing but iron-willed Lucious (Terrence Howard), who clashes with ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) now that she’s out from a seventeen-year prison stretch and seeking her own piece of the company. The three Lyon sons are caught in the middle. Bryshere Y. […]Read On »

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Jussie Smollett and Taraji P. Henson on EMPIRE Season Finale – exclusive interview

Taraji P Henson in EMPIRE - Season 1 | © 2015 Fox / Michael Lavine

On Fox’s megahit EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM and renewed for a second season already, Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, ex-wife of hip-hop record mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and mother of his three sons. Jussie Smollett plays talented and gay middle son Jamal, the only one to visit his mother in jail while Cookie did 17 years in order to protect Lucious for going down with her. Henson, an Oscar-nominated actress who’s a veteran of many films and TV series, has been to a number of parties like the one that Fox and FX are throwing for the […]Read On »

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EMPIRE showrunner Ilene Chaiken gives the scoop on Season 1 – exclusive interview

Terrence Howard stars as Lucious in Fox's EMPIRE | © 2015 Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox’s new drama series EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM, has turned into the kind of popular and ratings hit that would thrill its ultra-ambitious, powerhouse characters. Created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, EMPIRE is set in the world of hip-hop music, where terminally ill recording kingpin Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) wants to select one of his three sons – businesslike Andre (Trai Byers), talented, kind, gay Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and gifted but irresponsible Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) – to take over when he’s gone. Lucious’ ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) returns from prison and would like to control the […]Read On »

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EMPIRE creator Danny Strong on the Season 1 scoop – exclusive interview

Terrence Howard stars as Lucious Lyon on Fox's EMPIRE | © 2015 Michael Lavine/FOX

Fox’s freshman series EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM, is already a hit, renewed for a second season. Set in the world of hip-hop, it tells the story of ailing music mogul Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard. Lucious wants to know that his legacy will continue after he passes and is trying to decide which of his three sons should inherit the company he created. Eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) has the best head for business, but no musical talent. Youngest son Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) has gifts, but he often squanders them on drugs and pay-to-play women. Middle son […]Read On »

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Terrence Howard towers over EMPIRE – Exclusive Interview

Terrence Howard in EMPIRE - Season 1 | ©2015 Fox/Michael Lavine

In EMPIRE, the new Fox series airing Wednesdays at 9 PM, Terrence Howard plays hip hop music kingpin Lucious Lyon. When he is diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Lucious feels he must leave his power and fortune to one of his children – but which one? The choice is complicated by the reappearance of his ex-wife Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, who has emerged from prison feeling that she is entitled to at least some of what Lucious has. Howard and Henson have worked together before in HUSTLE & FLOW, which also dealt with the […]Read On »

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Taraji P. Henson on the EMPIRE state of mind – Exclusive Interview

Taraki P. Henson in EMPIRE - Season 1 | ©2015 Fox/Michael Lavine

In Fox’s new drama EMPIRE, created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, we are in the world of hip-hop music. The new series introduces us to music mogul Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard. Lucious is suffering from a serious illness and struggles to retain power while also trying to plan his legacy. Son Jamal, played by Jussie Smollett, is perhaps the most talented and qualified choice, but Jamal is gay, and Lucious cannot bear that. Challenging Lucious on virtually everything is his ex-wife Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson. Henson and Howard previously worked together in 2005’s HUSTLE & […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: James DuMont on LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER

James Dumont at the Annual EYEGORE AWARDS opening night of Universal Studios HALLOWEEN HORROR NGHTS | ©2012 Sue Schneider

Chances are excellent that you’ve seen James DuMont in something, or even many things. The actor, who was born in Chicago and raised both there and in New York City, has credits that include SPEED, LOIS & CLARK, PRIMARY COLORS, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, SEABISCUIT and MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE. At present, DuMontcan be seen on the big screen as Sherman Adams in LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER. The title character Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker, is fictional, loosely based on real White House butler Eugene Allen; Cecil’s wife Gloria, played by Oprah Winfrey, one of THE BUTLER’s […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: GAME CHANGE writer Danny Strong on Sarah Palin, politics and more

On the set of GAME CHANGE with screenwriter Danny Strong | ©2012 HBO

GAME CHANGE is an apt title for what happened in the 2008 election when John McCain, the Republican nominee for President of the United States of America, selected then-Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his running mate. Even people who see eye to eye on nothing else can agree that what followed was not quite like anything else that had ever happened on the national stage. The book GAME CHANGE by Time Magazine editor-in-chief Mark Halperin and political journalist John Heilemann encompasses the entire 2008 election, including the Democratic contest between then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The HBO film […]Read On »

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