‘It was like coming out again & again & again.’ Jussie Smollett On Empire + See His Bleu Spread! [Photos]

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The hottest new Hollywood it man, Jussie Smollett, is Bleu Magazine’s latest cover star. The singer/actor — who plays Jamal Lyons on the new hit series Empire — opens up about his role; working with Terrence Howard and how he has kept his faith. Peep a few excerpts.

Feeling appreciative about ‘Empire’:

Yeah, it feels like a dream. I feel really, really blessed. I thank God so much that I’m in this position right now.

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His journey to Hollywood:

It’s been a lesson in patience and hard work. I never had a plan B. I know how to do other things. I always held down a job. I always made sure, as a Black man, that I was responsible for mine. That was always something super important to me and was something instilled in me by my mother–to be a hard working man, a hard working human being.

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Keeping his faith:

In those moments it’s so hard to continue in your stride when you feel like no one is listening. That is the test. How much do you really want it and how long are you going to stay at it until you get it. Just have faith and pray about it–and work hard. Don’t just sit and pray and not do anything, because God helps those who help themselves. Don’t just work and not pray. Believe in something – whether it’s the universe, your God or Janet Jackson. Whatever you believe in, believe in it fully and know that it’s going to be all right.

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Preparing for the role Jamal:

My life kind of prepared me for Jamal, because I am the middle son in real life. I am a singer. I have experienced the same issues that Jamal has dealt with in his life except my Momma wasn’t in jail for 17 years and my Daddy wasn’t a billionaire. [Laughs] That’s the great thing about playing Jamal.

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