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Jussie Smollett goes from having breakfast with Alfre Woodard for first Empire audition to directing her on network TV


ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaThe wait for all new episodes of Empire is almost over and singer-actor Jussie Smollett, who stars as Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox show tells ABC Radio about a very special time with celebrated actress Alfre Woodard the morning of his first audition for the series. 

“Alfre, actually, I had breakfast with her, not a lot of people know this, I’ve never talked about this, but Alfre and I had breakfast and she prayed with me the morning that I went on my very first audition for Empire.” 

And in a complete full-circle moment, Jussie says that he’s directing Alfre in an upcoming episode of Empire

Alfre, who Jussie says he’s known “since I was fourteen years old” will join the Empire cast as Cookie’s mother. “Four years to the day that I got the job, I was directing Alfre in Empire, he says.” 

“I directed episode sixteen this year. So, it’ll air, I think in May, mid-May it’ll air…I direct all of my [music] visuals, but this is my first time directing network television and that was amazing.”

Empire returns to Fox on March 28. 

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