Is Empire really saying goodbye to a Lyon?
Last week’s gut-wrenching penultimate episode had Empire fans in a tizzy, when the middle Lyon son, Jamal, was mistakenly shot by his pal Freda Gatz (Bre-Z) and left in critical condition.
Empire star Jussie Smollett penned a foreboding tweet after the episode, seemingly alluding to his character’s fate: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time w/ @EmpireFOX. I love you all. Truth. Time 2 make a record & some movies.”
ET went straight to the source to get the scoop on Jamal’s unclear future at Fox’s Upfront in New York City on Monday, where the 32-year-old actor-singer was adorably coy.
“Wednesday at 9/8 Central, only on Fox,” Smollett teasingly replied, when asked about whether Jamal bites the dust.
Hmm… sure makes you wonder! While Smollett wouldn’t give a straight answer, he understood the uproar by the show’s loyal and passionate fans.
“[Creator] Lee [Daniels] has been getting death threats of people being like, ‘If Jamal dies, you die.’ Knife emoji, knife emoji, knife emoji!” Smollett shared. “The fans are on another level, it’s incredible. But you know, we’ll have to wait and see.”
He did, however, promise an action-packed season two finale that will be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and the payoff for Jamal’s story -- however it turns out -- will be worth the anticipation.
“It’s handled in a beautiful way,” Smollett promised. “I think there’s going to be tears and [there’s] also going to be a lot of happiness. So you know, it’s OK. It’s going to be great. It’s a phenomenal finale and all questions are going to be answered Wednesday at 9/8 Central, only on Fox.”
Smollett also addressed Lucious Lyon’s eyebrow-raising comment to son Jamal in last week’s episode, where the elder Lyon told his gay son with a vengeance, “The day you die from AIDS, I’m going to celebrate.” That harrowing exchange was borne from Smollett and Terrence Howard workshopping the dialogue in executive producer Sanaa Hamri’s office.
“We came up with all those horrible things because it was something that had to be said, that you just can’t come back [from] -- something so hurtful,” Smollett explained. “And look what ends up happening? Your son ends up getting shot -- ‘I took a bullet for you.’”
“It’s one of those instances where we’re not preaching, we’re just holding up a mirror to society and saying, ‘Is this you?’ and if it is, what about that?” he added.
Jussie Smollett isn't the only actor in the family! Watch the video below to hear him dish on working with his younger sister Jurnee on her WGN America drama, Underground.