EMPIRE: Danny Strong, Jussie Smollett, and Yazz Preview the Season 1 Finale, Look to Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

EMPIRE: Danny Strong, Jussie Smollett, and Yazz Preview the Season 1 Finale, Look to Season 2

March 18, 2015 by  

empire-thumbHey EMPIRE fans! The highly successful, whirlwind first season comes to an end on Wednesday, March 18th (8-10 ET on FOX), and we were able to ask co-creator Danny Strong and actors Jussie Smollett (Jamal) and Yazz (Hakeem) some questions on recent conference calls. Read on to find out how they feel about the upcoming season finale, important plot lines, and dream guest stars for season 2.

GMMR: Are you happy and satisfied with where your characters end up by the end of the season finale?
Yazz: I’m definitely happy with where my character is!
Jussie Smollett: I’m…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.
Y: Right!
JS: I feel like season 1 was the set up and season 2 will be…okay, let’s go back and clean up all of the Lyons’ stuff. I’m very happy and very excited about Jamal’s journey from where he started and where it’s taken him to now and where it’s going to end up going.
Y: And we’re excited about Andre (played by Trai Byers) — where he goes, [his storyline and character] gets better and better. His story is really important and it grows, and people can learn from his experiences.
JS: Absolutely, absolutely. And you’ve got to love Trai Byers period. Point blank period.

GMMR: Can you give us any scoop on Cookie and Malcolm? Is it a love match or just fooling around, and what will happen when other characters find out about it?
Danny Strong: I feel bad, because I am a very “no spoiler” person. My attitude is to watch and find out!

GMMR: Okay, no more spoilers then — what was it like working with Debbie Allen directing for the finale?
DS: Debbie was so cool. I grew up watching FAME, and I co-wrote [with showrunner Ilene Chaikin] the episode she directed, so I was on set. She was everything you’d imagine her to be. Super cool, super hip, really smart, really talented. I remember there was a catfight she was directing, and at one point she called out, “Now toss the bitch!” And I just remember thinking, “That is the greatest piece of direction I have ever heard in my career.”

GMMR:  Any thoughts on bringing Jennifer Hudson on as more than a guest star? She had great chemistry with Andre, and there are other members of the family who could use some therapy!
DS: [Laughs] They could use a lot of therapy on this show! And I think we could use it behind the scenes too — I know I could! I think that Jennifer…I can’t say what’s going to happen with her character because to be honest, I don’t know. We’re just starting to talk about season 2 now. I know we loved her and think she did a fantastic job. She has this song in the finale that I just love; it’s one of the coolest of the season. So it is certainly a possibility, and she was lovely on set. It could definitely happen, but I have no clue yet what we’re doing as of right now.

GMMR: Who are your dream guest stars for season 2?
JS: Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Brandi.
Y: Madonna, Queen Latifah, Rihanna.

What are you most excited for in the EMPIRE season 1 finale? Will you be watching live?

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