Scream Queens Premieres This Fall On FOX


(PCM) FOX has debuted the very first full length trailer for “Scream Queens” which is set to premiere this Fall.

The upcoming series will star Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer,Oliver Hudson, Skylar Samuels, Nasim Pedrad, Diego Boneta, Glen Powell, Billie Lourd, Lucian Laviscount with guest stars Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, and Ariana Grande.

You can check out the official “Scream Queens” Facebook page for updates! Join in the discussion using the hashtag: #screamqueens

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American Idol Set To End After Fifteen Seasons


(PCM) Fans of FOX’s American Idol are devastated by the news that the beloved talent competition series will be coming to an end after fifteen seasons. American Idol is one of the longest running talent competition shows and the announcement was revealed just two days before the upcoming season fourteen finale which airs this Wednesday night.

American Idol began back in 2002 and for eight consecutive seasons managed to garner over 20 million viewers per episode, totally overtaking the coveted 18-49 year old age demographic.  That number even hit close to 31 million viewers per episode during the 2006 season, however in recent years the show’s numbers have been on a steady decline. The current season is only reaching numbers of about 9 million viewers which is no doubt what has caused executives to finally pull the plug.

The fifteenth and final season of American Idol will begin in January on FOX and the three current judges – Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr.- along with host Ryan Seacrest will all be making a return for the show’s final episodes.

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M.Night Shyamalan Talks Upcoming FOX series “Wayward Pines”

Shyamalan1(PCM) We are super excited for the upcoming premiere of the new 10-episode FOX series “Wayward Pines” on Thursday, May 14th at 9pm.  The series is based off a trio of novels by author Blake Crouch and stars Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent whose is searching for two missing colleagues in the town of Wayward Pine, Idaho. On his mission, he has a terrible accident and ends up in the hospital and this is where things begin to take an incredibly strange turn.

The series also stars Melissa Leo as the towns one and only nurse, Terrance Howard as the town sheriff, and Juliette Lewis as the town bartender with a few secrets of her own.  We have caught the first few episodes of the series and we are absolutely hooked, which is why we were thrilled for a chance to catch up with “Wayward Pines” executive producer M.Night Shymalan to discuss the new series.

On adapting the novels for TV

M.Night Shyamalan: It’s an interesting anamorphous answer to your subject. The normal provenance of a project seems clear. We adapted it from a XYZ book and that’s the end of it. In our case, we had Blake’s first book, which was fantastic, and they wrote the pilot and the information from the first book was basically in the five episodes that you saw, maybe a little bit into the sixth episode that you’ve seen.

The decision to basically get to the reveal midway through the season was something that I felt strongly about, and everybody concurred that we didn’t want to have more the traditional format of tease, tease, tease, tease and then at the very end tell you the answer, because I thought the answer was a very exciting world to live in. Subsequently, as we started to write episodes, Blake continued to write books. Book 2 came out well into our shooting and Book 3, so he started to evolve the world. So to some extent, we were parallel creating our world post Episode 5-6.

On what attracted him to the project

M.Night Shyamalan: I’ve been hesitant about doing things other than movies for a while and very tempted to do something on TV. It was a tentative ride, got to the altar a few times and found a reason to not do XYZ projects. I felt a little bit like maybe I will never feel the clarity of the decision that I feel when I do most of my movies, when I do an original that I’ve written – a thriller or something. I always feel a great clarity and a commitment to how I want to put in this time. I can’t wait to do this for the next year and a half to two years and I wondered whether I would have that clarity.

Then just when I was doubting all of that—and it’s been a while, maybe a year and a half of trying to find something that felt right to start the journey in TV, and then the pilot for Wayward Pines came across my desk and I’m really, really lucky that it did and lucky they chose me as their first choice and just that they thought of me and it just fit so well with what I was interested in. I was interested in doing dark material and doing, for me, a dark humor attached to that material and certainly the pilot had that approach. As it entered this world of mystery and stuff and suspense it took a dark irreverent tone to it.

If you’ve seen the trailer to my new movie for Universal, that also has very inappropriate dark humor throughout. I’m a big fan of that and I’m in that headspace, so this pilot really spoke to me and it was such a great puzzle and a great mystery. And, ultimately, when you find out what’s going on, I thought meaningful. So it was a really easy decision.

Shyamalan2On the benefits and drawbacks of only having 10-episodes

M.Night Shyamalan: There’s not a ton of negatives, I’ve got to be honest with you. You get a certain group of people that wouldn’t necessarily be interested in doing an open-ended longform type of storytelling like Matt Dillon and others that were willing do a project if I said can you come and work for X amount of months and do one season for me. That’s a benefit.

The beautiful thing about TV right now is that the form is very pliable. When it was you had to do twenty-four episodes it was a tough thing to fit, and now it went to thirteen and then it went to ten and then you could do eight, like True Detective, and you could basically can do whatever the material dictates and that’s a very beautiful thing. Even as we were deciding what to do, the length of this was supposed to be—it vacillated from thirteen to twelve to ten, and ultimately the decision to not have any vamping episodes—that kind of what we all feel is the telltale trait that they’re running out of material is that if they’re getting repetitive or vamping and going to a side thing because they just need to fill space. You don’t have those kind of problems with a ten-episode series. So really wonderful positives on all fronts.

I’m trying to think of a negative. If the negative is we love this show and want to continue it, it’s a decision that can be made in the future. But that wasn’t the goal. And for me, especially, being involved with the show it would be something that would have to be made later and not we have to hit this target and we don’t know what we’re doing for that target. So a lot of positives for this format. And including me, I don’t know if I would have been ready to say I wanted to do an open-ended show as my first show. I’m not sure.

On the casting process for “Wayward Pines”

M.Night Shyamalan: Casting for me is the most critical thing. I’m always confused at the onset. I have my aspirations and my agendas and oh, I’d love to work with this person and that person and those kinds of things can be false gods sometimes. They can lead you down to the wrong path. There’s a moment where you feel peace and that peace comes from when you know the personality of the entire cast put together. Because basically, you guys as an audience member are going on a date or something, say a relationship with the cast as whole, what is that personality of their cast as a whole?

So the first person was Matt. We signed on Matt and he was literally a no-brainer. Then I was, to be honest, a little confused for a second about how to cast this thing. I can’t remember who mentioned Melissa first. It might have even been Matt. I’m not sure and literally when I heard the name—the second I heard the name I went oh my God, I know exactly how to cast this show. Because the role that, for me, I was worried about was Nurse Pam because it needs to be handled really deftly, otherwise it becomes a caricature.

I was struggling with the tone of the cast and then when I heard her name I was like oh my God let’s get her, let’s get her, let’s please see if we can get her. And then when we got her, I went wow, now I know what the rest of this cast is. This is the Melissa Leo version of Matt Dillon and those two in a movie, I know exactly how to cast this. This is an East Coast/New York independent movie. So then Terrence came on and Carla and Toby and Juliette, and just one after the other. I just knew the tone of how to cast it and luckily for us everybody said yes. It was a confluence of many, many things that got us this incredible cast. Very lucky. Casting is a—the casting Gods have to be with you.

Shyamalan3On the decision to give TV a try in addition to film

M.Night Shyamalan: The year and a half prior to Wayward was the sense of getting inspired by what was going on in television. Since then even more so this sense of storytelling being led in—if you’re looking at the two mediums of film and TV—and we’re going to greatly stigmatize the two fields for a second just for simplicity—in film, in mainstream cinema right now there’s a great movement towards marketability and a lack of reverence for resonance, storytelling resonance and tone. Marketability is definitely the primary factor looked at when assessing movies and deciding which movies to make and those kind of things.

In television, which used to have marketability as its sole God, as its sole criteria metric, because it had to have X amount of eyeballs on this day to sell detergent or whatever it was it came from and cable and all of this stuff started moving the metric towards resonance. It wasn’t about how many people were watching Mad Men. It’s how many people are talking about Mad Men, so that I make sure I put AMC on my cable package or whatever.

So it started to change the metrics of what the product needs to be. And as you started to see storytelling swinging over to there you started to have filmmakers, and I’d like to put myself in that category, who are driven towards tone first and characters first. So there’s a great want and desire now in television and as you can see even in network TV now for resonance. Please make it sticky. Make it so as we are changing channels you have to stop on this channel because it’s being told in an unusual way. It’s disruptive in that manner. Their desire for that kind of storytelling started to attract me and I would love that.

And then selfishly for me, because I write my films, it’s a big gap between movies to me, talking to my audience and having an opportunity to tell stories to an audience. So for me making a thriller, for example, it takes me eighteen months to two years to tell a story to the audience and nowadays that’s an eternity, right? A couple rounds of that and a whole generation has gone by. This is a great opportunity for me to tell more stories in between the movies and hopefully develop a strong broad relationship with them during that time, so they can get to know the stories that interest me and I can get to know their tastes as well. On a lot of fronts it feels like a very complementary thing to do.

On just how “Wayward Pines” will resonate with viewers

M.Night Shyamalan: Okay, just one of a few reasons… I do believe that it has, hopefully, a cinematic quality to it. I hope. And by that I mean maybe an attention to the camera work and a pacing that might be more akin to what you might see in film. Certainly the cast in general was a cast that you might see more in film. It’s a giant, giant idea. It’s a big idea. It’s like one of those Jurassic Park kind of ideas and I can’t take any credit for that. That’s all Blake. And I’m super lucky to be able to be the one to shepherd it to the audiences. You’re lucky to come across big ideas like that that are both human and gigantic at the same time.

I think our format is really unusual. It excited me in making it. I wasn’t once like oh, we’re making this show still? The thing that I think is really amazing for audiences in that the show changes genres halfway through the season. I don’t even tell you what genre you’re watching for a long time and that’s exciting. And the kind of storytelling I love. Which is you can sense the hand of the filmmakers and so you trust them and you’re going to go somewhere but you don’t necessarily know where you’re going but you know you’re confidently being held.

I also think that finding out all the answers halfway through the series is an amazing thing I think for audience members. Then to change genres and realize what genre you’re in for the second half, and I can almost argue that it changes into a third genre in the last couple episodes.

Shyamalan4On the symbolism in “Wayward Pines”

M.Night Shyamalan: If I told you it would no longer be symbolism. It would be literal. But there’s definitely a lot of hopes in there in terms of the colors and themes. I hired directors to do each of the subsequent episodes. We have a little, kind of like a guide book that we put together as saying this is what the filmic language is, at least the way I was thinking of it. I wasn’t stringent at all with them. I really implored them to make their episodes their own because I hired them for their particular muscles.

Some of them are more muscular than me. Some of them are more kinetic or can handle a particular type of storytelling much better than I can and that’s why I hired them. I didn’t want them to copy me. But I did have kind of a guide book like hey if you used artificial light in this capacity it has this connotation, so that’s one. The way we use light is indicative of what’s going on in the plot.

I’m trying to dance around the answer there. Sorry about that. But I didn’t impose as much as I would do like say on one of my thrillers where I would say the color purple means this. It represents the woman that passed away in Signs for example or something like that, a very specific thing.

But maybe after the show is done, one day you and I will talk and I can tell you more specific this meant this and this meant that. Some I did. I didn’t want to be too suffocating to the filmmakers coming in in terms of hey you’ve got to use this wardrobe or that or this color only. But there were suggestions in the guidebook.

On his upcoming Universal film “The Visit”

M.Night Shyamalan: I’m super, super excited. It was a wonderful thing. I made a small movie that I went and did—I do all my movies here in Philadelphia—but went and made it myself quietly and my number one choice is Universal and showed it to them and they wanted it and they loved it and then we finished it together. It has been such a fun and wonderful time. I’m really excited for audiences to see that movie. My producer is Jason Blum, a super smart guy, and just had such a great time. I’m really excited about it. I feel super proud about the TV show and the movie. So a fun year, a fun year coming up.

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Final Three Revealed On FOX’s American Idol


(FOX) Clark Beckham, Nick Fradiani and Jax are this season’s AMERICAN IDOL XIV Top Three finalists, after it was revealed that Rayvon Owen received the fewest votes. One of these three singers will be the next AMERICAN IDOL! Who will it be?

Next week, someone’s life will change forever as the Top Three enter into the final two shows of the season. The AMERICAN IDOL XIV two-part Grand Finale will be broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA. During Part One of the AMERICAN IDOL XIV finale airing Tuesday, May 12 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top Two finalists will be revealed, and both will sing three songs for America’s vote. Then, on Wednesday, May 13 (8:00-10:06 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the winner will be announced during the star-studded final episode of the season!

Tickets are currently on sale for the “American Idol Live!” U.S. concert tour. The tour launches Tuesday, July 7 in Clearwater, FL, and stops in major cities, including New York, Chicago, Houston and Nashville, before wrapping up in Riverside, CA, on Friday, Aug. 28. Details can be found at

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Kevin McHale Talks DASH Radio Show “Sick Of My Own Voice”, Saying Goodbye To GLEE And More!


(PCM) Actor Kevin McHale, best known for his role as Artie Abrams on the hit FOX television series GLEE, took some time out to speak with PCM about his new radio show on DASH called “Sick Of My Own Voice”, which you can catch every Thursday on DASH Radio’s MainStage channel. McHale also shared details about what it was like to say goodbye to GLEE and his role in the upcoming film “Boychoir” with actor Dustin Hoffman.

Q: How did the idea to put together the radio show “SOMOV” for DASH come together?

Kevin McHale: I was sitting in my house and Justin and Brittany and I were having a ridiculous conversation, one that could only happen if you’ve been friends for a long time and it just hit me. We always talk like that and I’ve been trying to get Amy to do something for years where people could hear how funny she is. So I just thought we could subject people to listening to this and maybe they’ll enjoy it!

Q: You have a great chemistry together on the radio show, I love the no-holds barred discussions, are there any topics that are off-limits? Are there any topics you would like to cover that you haven’t yet?

Kevin McHale: The most important thing for us was to make the sure that the conversation still felt like it was in my living room. I think when you are in front of a mic you’re at risk of losing that chemistry but luckily we all adjusted and we’re still adjusting. It’s a learning process. Well, we’ve kind of gone to the extreme already. As a group we have no filter, so we’re still figuring out where the line is, or if there is one! I think as long as everyone is speaking about how they really feel then we should cover it. I just don’t want to ever bring up current topics just to bring them up.

Q: In what way is doing a radio show more challenging than working on a TV or film project? Do you feel you have a bit more creative freedom?

Kevin McHale: Well, the biggest difference is that for better or for worse it’s on us. Where in TV & film you can hide behind a character and in radio, especially our show, we’re being 100% ourselves. I would even go on to say that it’s more personal than a regular radio just because we are actually friends and have been for most of our lives so this is how we talk when we hang out. The problem is, taken out of context certain things we say could sound terrible! But hopefully listeners begin to understand how we talk and will hear where we’re coming from.

Q: What are some upcoming topics that we have to look forward to on “SOMOV”? Would you ever want to record the show in front of a live audience, like at Comic Con for example?

Kevin McHale: It’s really whatever is happening at the moment. Justin and I created a Tumblr called Sick of My Own Voice years ago, and that was made on the basis that we’d review tv, movies, music and share our opinions. I think as SOMOV continues you’ll hear that part of the show grow. I think doing it in front of a live audience would be incredible. We’re all performers, we all love being on stage so that might be a dream scenario.

Q: Can you talk about what it was like to say goodbye to Glee?

Kevin McHale: It was like if you have a cut and are wearing a band-aid on a really hairy part of your body, and people are saying you’re going to have tp take that band-aid off eventually and then they say this band-aid is coming off on this day so you think you’re mentaly prepared and ready for the day because you’ve had some warning. Then that day comes and the band-aid is still as sticky and you’re just as hairy and it hurts like hell and there’s and empty space on your body will no hair.

Q: What would you say is the one thing that is probably misunderstood about you the most? Is there anything in particular that people tend to get wrong a lot of the time?

Kevin McHale: I just think for anyone who the public might know, what you get publicly is not who someone necessarily is. You might see someone on twitter and read 140 characters, or see them in a 5 min youtube video, or interview and think you know that person, but you’re not seeing them for the other 23 hours out of the day. These are real person, famous or not and that can be easily forgotten.

Q: Can you talk about your role in the upcoming film Boy Choir? What attracted you to the film?

Kevin McHale: I get to play a music teacher, funnily enough. I’m the youngest teacher at this elite boarding school of singers. It’s based off a real place so schools and choirs like this actually exist, which is amazing. I wanted to be a part of it for several reasons, one being that Dustin Hoffman was in it and I think everyone in their right mind wants to work with him. Also, when I met Francois, the director, we had the best chat about music and how he would integrate these boys singing throughout the entirety of the movie. The picture he painted that 1st meeting sold me and I was so lucky to have gotten to be a part of it.

Q: Do you have any additional upcoming projects in the works that you can give us the scoop on?

Kevin McHale: I despise not being busy, so there is a lot going on but it’s all early stages so there’s no point in mentioning them quite yet!

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Jussie Smollett And Yazz Talk Empire’s Theme Of Family And Love


(PCM) Last nights season one finale of the hit FOX drama “Empire” was nothing short of explosive. The two-hour finale gave us so many game-changing moments that we don’t even know where to begin. Some relationships were repaired, others were destroyed and the one particular catfight that was inevitably going to occur finally went down.

**Spoiler Alert** Plot details about the season finale are mentioned below


The first major reveal of the finale occurred when we learned that Lucious was actually misdiagnosed and is no longer suffering from ALS. However, after taking some new medications for his new far more treatable illness he hallucinates in bed and confesses to the death of Bunky just as Cookie enters the room.

Upon hearing his horrific confession, Cookie is understandably distraught and nearly decides to take Lucious’ life into her own hands and attempts to smother him with a pillow. Lucious later sends out a warning to Cookie in the form of gifting her with a gift-wrapped pillow, when he is handing out apology presents to his family.

Hakeem decides to court his father’s rival record label Creedmore and even releases a new rap song in which he publicly slams Luscious and sleeps with his father’s ex-Anika. Jamal has mended his relationship with Lucious  and receives the key to become his father’s successor in taking over Empire. We also see Jamal, in an attempt to prove himself to his father, dangle Creedmore record executive Beretti over a balcony to get him to agree to sign over Lucious’s original demos back over to Empire. Definitely a major change in character.

Cookie is cut out of the company after Lucious learns about her relations with security guard Malcom and turns Jamal against her after he shows him footage of Cookie attempting to smother him with the pillow. Hakeem and Andre join together in an attempt to forge a hostile takeover and regain control of Empire from Lucious and Jamal. They enlist the help of sworn enemies Cookie and Anika and of course a major catfight reminiscent of something out of Dallas in the 1980’s ensues between the two before they begrudging agree to work together to bring down Lucious.

Vernon is accidentally killed when he visits Andre in an attempt to work together when things get out of hand and we learn that Andre’s wife Rhonda is now pregnant. Just as Lucious is about to hit the stage for the tribute concert, he reveals to Jamal that his real name is Dwight Walker and is then promptly arrested for his involvement in the murder of Bunky. As he marched out of the venue in handcuffs he immediately thinks that Cookie sold him out, but as he is marched past both Hakeem and Andre he sees the true culprits who sold him out. The episode concludes with Lucious behind bars with the haunting line “The day will come when Lucious Lyon will return. Game time, b**ches.”

We were recently able to catch up with Empire’s Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) and Yazz (Hakeem Lyon) to talk about the epic finale and what will be in store for season two.


On their wonderful on-screen chemistry and the way in which their relationship has evolved throughout the season.

Yazz: “As you’ve seen throughout the season, the brothers, they’re clashing. There is a lot of success going on. They’re making a lot of money and it’s about if they’re going to stick together through the new adventures that are going on in their lives. The season finale is where you get to see that. It’s going to be crazy.

Jussie Smollett: “Yea, and as far as the relationship and the chemistry between both Hakeem and Jamal and, obviously, essentially, myself and Yazz, the thing about Hakeem and Jamal is that they compete and there are other people that really have their hands in the pot of their brotherhood, but at the same time they always find themselves back to each other. They always find their way back to each other somehow.

I think that’s the beautiful thing about them is that families fight; families have issues. Not exactly as many issues as the Lyons family, but, families fight and they have issues and then they come back together at the end of the day and they’re a family. I think that it speaks volumes about brotherhood, the fact that Hakeem is so supportive of Jamal. Jamal is so supportive of Hakeem, but then it leads into our friendship and our brotherhood outside of the work.

I feel like I watch the show sometimes, like when Yazz was performing “Nothing but a Number,” my character was excited, but my character was excited because I was genuinely excited because that was the first time I heard the song and I loved it and he was killing it. There’s that brotherhood and camaraderie that we share. I think that’s what you see.”

On whether or not they are happy and satisfied about where their character ends up after the finale. 

Yazz: “I’m definitely happy about where my character is.”

Jussie: “I’m excited because there’s so much more to come. The dope thing about Season 1 is that there are still questions to be answered in Season 2. You know what I’m saying? I feel like Season 1 was the set up and then Season 2 will be, okay, let’s go back and let’s clean up all of the Lyons’ stuff, if you will. I’m very happy. I’m very excited where Jamal, where his journey has taken him, from beginning to now, and where it’s going to end up going. I’m very excited.”

Yazz: “And we’re excited about Andre. Where he goes, he gets better and better. I feel like his story is real important and it grows and people can learn from his experiences”

On who would be their dream guest stars for Season Two

Jussie: “For me, it’s Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson and Brandy. I really want them just because I want to sing with them.”

Yazz: “For me it’s Madonna, Queen Latifah, and Rihanna.”


On fan reaction to the series

Yazz: “The fans are amazing.It’s just pandemonium, but it’s a dream come true. We’re working with the greatest, Oscar-nominated, actors and directors, so it’s great. I’m in a great place. Jussie’s in a great place and we’re blessed.”

Jussie: “For me, it’s been a really wonderful experience thus far. Everybody has been really supportive and loving. I just get the most beautiful letters from kids, both homosexual children and heterosexual children, telling me that somehow they relate to Jamal in so many ways and I feel like that’s the – as an artist, we don’t always get these types of roles to come along, that really say something about what you care about, but when they do, you jump at the chance.

I feel like that’s what we all did. I feel like we all, in our own individual ways, fought so hard for these roles because of what it meant and what it said. It’s so entertaining and it’s so glamorous and fantastic, but it also is saying something about where our society is today and that means so much. When I get those letters, I’m a crying fool anyway, because I’m a Cancer, but it’s just really, really emotional and I love it. It’s been wonderful.”


On working with Snoop Dogg in the finale

Yazz: “It was great to work with Snoop. I can’t tell you what we’re doing, but we had to prepare for our scene for like an hour in his trailer. It was good to vibe out with the legend Snoop Dogg and to get some jewels I can take into life and use and to apply them to my everyday life.”

On what they have both personally taken away from working on the series.

Yazz: “There were many elements, darling, but no, it’s family, family, family. You got to talk to your family. You got to stay grounded. You need to pray a lot. You need to eat healthy. There are a lot of things that tie into it but definitely staying prayed up, and keeping the family involved.”

Jussie: “For me, it’s been like to piggyback on what Yazz was saying, it is, what we took away from it is I think that Yazz and I, separately, in our own ways, are so, so, so dedicated to our families and then what we came away with it, it was another – more additions to our family, if you will, with this cast and the crew. Such incredible people but, also, I feel like what I’ve seen is the stereotypes that society tries to push down our throats actually are not real.

That what we’re seeing is we’re seeing the very people that society wants us to believe would not accept someone like a Jamal, those are the very people that are coming up to me being like, brother, I love you. I respect you. Keep doing what you’re doing. So for that, it’s really – I don’t know if it’s opened my eyes because I feel like my eyes saw that already, but I feel like what it did is that it killed that cycle that started to feed itself of, that there are really, really genuine and good, honest, respectful, and loving people in the world. So, I really love it. That’s why I love the viewers so much, because that’s what they show every single day.”

On what they hope that viewers will take away from the show

Jussie: “Love.  Just love.”

Yazz: “Family. It’s love and family conflict in situations. It’s a family show, so you get to experience family situations that you can learn from in your household. Stuff that Hakeem does, idiotic stuff he does, you would teach your son, like, that’s going to happen you if you keep going that route. It’s great. The fans keep watching each week and it’s loving.

Nobody’s perfect and you’ll get that on the season finale. Everybody is an enemy. Everybody is a villain. Nobody is safe in Empire.”

On their human activist work

Jussie: “My mom didn’t even really give us a choice growing up. Look, we had a choice what sports we played. We had a choice in what music we listened to. We had a choice in the careers that we chose. We did not have a choice in being activists because that was the one thing that she said, if you do nothing in your life, you’ve got to give back. So, what you do is you’ve got to collect your own stuff so that you can properly give back.

But it’s just who we are. It’s literally like, it’s the thing that feeds me the most. If I didn’t do it, then I would feel empty. But I talk to the young youth in the city, I talk to young LGBT youth. I talk to young women with babies that have been raped or have suffered through domestic violence and have gotten out of it. That’s what I do, you know what I’m saying? So, as far as, has it changed me? No. It’s just further cemented who I am in my own life and the work that I know that I’m here, put on this earth, to do.”

Yazz: “And to piggyback a little bit off what he said, I had a close friend get killed from violence in the streets and, from 16 years old, I went out talking to the kids, because that really touched me internally, that somebody that got killed was that close to me. I went out, at 16 years old, me and my mom would pack up a Camry and drive to Michigan, use our own money, and we weren’t really that fortunate, and we would go out to these schools and I would perform.

I would talk to the kids and give them a little bit of inspiration because I was really hurt from that situation and from there, I kind of built a fan base through talking to the kids and letting them know, this is possible. You’ve just got to follow your dreams. If I’m here on stage from Philadelphia, you can be just like me. I did that since I was 16 years old and from there it just – I got Empire.”

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