*At this point, who hasn’t watched “Empire?” Even folks who believe the series perpetuates the same ol’ stereotypes of African Americans have at least seen one episode before refusing to watch any further.
For breakout star Jussie Smollett, the unprecedented week-to-week growth in ratings is not taken for granted.
“It’s been a huge, huge, huge blessing for us all, and we all feel it,” said the actor, who plays middle son Jamal in the Lyon family. “Often you do work and sometimes the best films or the best television, it doesn’t get seen by anybody. Sometimes the best music ever made is only heard by the people that make it. So, the fact that we are blessed enough to be able to work hard, and that people love ‘Empire’ even a quarter of how much we love making it, there’s nothing better than that.”
Below, Jussie (seated next to his on-screen brothers Bryshere Gray and Trai Byers) tells us what it’s like to go into his neighborhood Whole Foods now that he’s a bona fide television star.