When Empire returns for its third season on Fox, the breakout star of the series, the multi-talented Jussie Smollett, will be back in his key role of Jamal, the most talented son in the Lyon Dynasty who also happens to be gay.
And as fans of the sudsy drama have gotten to know Smollett via his social media, his interviews, and on his appearance in 2015 when he came out publicly to Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show, he is the real deal not shying away from who he is, and who he loves.
In an upcoming feature in the September issue of UK’s Attitudes on sale next week on August 17th, Smollett is featured on the cover alongside supermodel, longtime friend, and Empire co-star, Naomi Campbell (Camilla). Inside the piece, Jussie talks his truth being openly gay in Hollywood, and if it has hindered his career.
Smollett related: “I am told so many times that I should not walk truly in my blackness, that I should not walk truly in my sexuality, I should not walk truly in who I am. I say thanks but no thanks, f**k you and goodbye. I honestly think that me being myself has actually helped my career move forward.”
The 33-year-old star added: “I get tired of the idea of someone telling me what my truth is. I’ve said from the beginning of my journey: I do not hide who I am. I love who I love. No one is going to tell me that somehow that is going to be my disability.”
And nothing has stopped Jussie from his career goals even while being out. He is back on Empire, recording his first album – and recently just wrapped filming acclaimed director Ridley Scott’s motion picture Alien: Covenant.
What do you think about Jussie’s thoughts on staying true to who he is and not let Hollywood try to tell him to be someone other than who he is? Isn’t it a lesson we should all learn from – embrace who we are? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.